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Welcome to our comprehensive guide on termite species found in Boston. As leading experts in the field of pest control and extermination, we are committed to providing you with valuable information that will help you understand and tackle termite infestations effectively. In this article, we will delve into the various termite species commonly encountered in Boston, their characteristics, habits, and potential risks they pose to your property.

Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites are the most common type of termites found in Boston. These destructive pests are known for their ability to build extensive underground colonies and construct mud tubes to access above-ground food sources. They feed on cellulose material such as wood, causing significant damage to structures if left untreated.


  • Subterranean termites are pale in color and have soft bodies.
  • They have straight antennae and are approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inch long.
  • Their colonies consist of a caste system with workers, soldiers, and reproductive members.
  • They require moisture to survive, often seeking damp areas in your property.


  • Subterranean termites create mud tubes along foundations, walls, and other surfaces to protect themselves while foraging.
  • They can enter buildings through tiny cracks or gaps in the foundation.
  • They primarily feed on wood but can also damage paper, insulation, and other cellulose-based materials.
  • Swarmers, the reproductive members of the colony, emerge in the spring to mate and establish new colonies.


  • Subterranean termites pose a serious threat to the structural integrity of your property if left untreated.
  • They can cause extensive damage, leading to costly repairs and compromised safety.
  • Infestations often go unnoticed until significant harm has already been done.

Drywood Termites

Drywood termites are another species that can infest homes and buildings in Boston. Unlike subterranean termites, they do not require direct contact with the soil and can establish colonies within dry wood structures.


  • Drywood termites are typically larger than subterranean termites, measuring around 3/8 to 1 inch in length.
  • They have a darker brown coloration and hard exoskeletons.
  • Their colonies are usually smaller than those of subterranean termites.


  • Drywood termites infest dry wood, including furniture, wooden beams, and flooring.
  • They do not require contact with soil, making them capable of infesting higher levels of a building.
  • Unlike subterranean termites, they do not construct mud tubes.
  • Swarmers emerge during the summer months, spreading to establish new colonies.


  • Drywood termites can cause significant damage to wooden structures and furniture.
  • Detection and treatment of drywood termite infestations can be challenging due to their ability to remain hidden within the wood.
  • Early identification and professional intervention are crucial to preventing widespread damage.

Dampwood Termites

Dampwood termites are less common in Boston but can still pose a threat, especially in areas with high moisture content. These termites infest wood with high moisture levels, such as decaying logs and damp areas within buildings.


  • Dampwood termites are the largest among the three species, measuring up to 1 inch in length.
  • They have a reddish-brown coloration and elongated bodies.
  • Their colonies tend to be smaller compared to subterranean termites.


  • Dampwood termites infest wood that is in direct contact with soil, such as decaying logs or wet areas within your property.
  • They do not typically invade structures above the ground level unless there is significant moisture damage.


  • Dampwood termites can cause damage to structures with excessive moisture issues, compromising the integrity of wooden elements.
  • Identifying and addressing moisture problems is crucial to prevent dampwood termite infestations.

Termite Prevention and Control

Preventing and controlling termite infestations requires a proactive approach. Here are some effective measures you can take to protect your property:

  1. Moisture Control: Eliminate or reduce moisture sources that attract termites. Repair any leaks, ensure proper drainage, and address areas with excessive humidity.
  2. Wood-to-Soil Contact: Minimize direct contact between wood and soil. Maintain a gap between wooden structures and the ground, and consider using concrete or metal supports.
  3. Regular Inspections: Conduct routine inspections to detect any signs of termite activity early on. Look for mud tubes, discarded wings, damaged wood, or termite droppings (frass).
  4. Timber Treatment: Apply appropriate wood treatments or preservatives to protect against termite damage. This is particularly important for vulnerable areas such as wooden foundations or structural elements.
  5. Professional Pest Control: Engage the services of a reputable pest control company specializing in termite extermination. Professional treatment options include liquid termiticides, termite baits, and fumigation.
  6. Educate Yourself: Learn about the signs and characteristics of different termite species to better identify potential infestations. Prompt action can significantly minimize the damage caused.

Understanding the different termite species in Boston and their behaviors is crucial for effective termite control and prevention. Subterranean, drywood, and dampwood termites each present unique challenges, and early detection is key to minimizing damage and costly repairs.

By implementing preventative measures, maintaining a dry environment, and seeking professional assistance when necessary, you can protect your property from termite infestations. Stay vigilant, conduct regular inspections, and address any signs of termite activity promptly.

Remember, termites are relentless, but with the right knowledge and proactive approach, you can safeguard your home or business from their destructive impact.