At least six species of native termites in this genus occur in North America, occurring throughout the country in all states and in Canada. These are the common and destructive soil-dwelling termites. The Eastern is the most common species in eastern North America, ranging from southern Canada south to Florida and in much of the eastern half of the U.S.
With rare exception colonies are located in the ground, with foraging done from these colonies into structures or other wood sources. There is a true worker caste, with adult workers, soldiers, and alates in the colony along with a primary queen and often the “king” that helped initiate the colony. It is possible that a colony can have up to two hundred thousand workers or more, and several separate colonies may exist near and be foraging in a single structure.
Alates are a shiny dark brown to black, and have both a fontanelle as well as a single ocellus near each compound eye. The antennae have less than 18 segments. The wings are very light colored to white and are without hairs on them. There are 2 thickened veins that run parallel to each other from the base to the tip along the leading edge of the wing, and numerous short veins connect these two long veins.
Characteristicts Important to Control:
Control is primarily by soil applications of residual insecticides, either as pretreatments or as treatment post-construction. Termite bait products may prove to be effective in eliminating underground colonies altogether.