There are two majors types of termites in Louisiana: subterranean and drywood. The subterranean termites are divided into two subgroups: native subterranean termites and Formosan subterranean termites. The former are native to Louisiana and include several species; the latter were introduced into this state and refer to one species.
They are always found inside dry wood and require neither soil contact nor external moisture. They do not build mud tubes, and there is no soil in the wood they infest; but they eat and build galleries both across and within the wood grain and produce dry, six-sided fecal pellets. The pellets are often ejected from their galleries. The wings of drywood alates have three or more major veins on the front edge. Drywood soldiers have teeth on the inside edge of the mandibles.
They can be found both in the wood and in the soil. They start colonies in the soil, require moisture, build mud tubes to access aboveground wood and bring soil into the wood they infest. Most prefer to eat wood along the grain. They do not produce fecal pellets but may build cartons to make above-ground nests. A carton nest is composed of chewed wood, saliva and excrement. The wings of subterranean alates have two major veins on the front edge. Subterranean soldiers lack teeth on the inside of the mandibles.
Formosan Subterranean Termites Vs. Native Subterranean Termites
The wings of Formosan subterranean termites are covered with small hairs, whereas those of native subterranean termites have none. The Formosan subterranean termite soldier has a teardrop-shaped head and a large fontanel (opening in the head for release of a secretion), whereas the native subterranean termite soldier has a rectangular head and a small fontanel.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture