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What are conehead termites?

Originally known as the “tree termite,” the conehead termite thrives by feasting on wood. They were renamed as “Conehead Termites” to stop the misconception that this termites were only found in trees, and also for the cone-like shape of the heads of their soldiers.
 
This invasive species is native to the Caribbean and was  first introduced to the United States in 2001.  They typically spend their time within their colonies but will also leave to create satellite nests in trees, shrubs, or even open ground. They will also infest fences, paper products and any other cellulose sources they can gain access too.

This termite species is highly aggressive and can cause detrimental damage in a short amount of time if left undetected.  One thing about the cone head is that they would not cause major damage to structural timbers

 
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What do they look like

Taking after their name, soldier conehead termites have a dark brown cone shaped head attached to their cream-colored bodies. They are long and narrow, growing to about 3-4mm in length with six legs and two long antennae. While soldiers only make up about 1-2% of subterranean and drywood termite colonies, 20-30% of a typical conehead colony is made up of soldiers. The rest of the colony has a more normal appearance, with cream-colored bodies and less distinctive heads. 

Conehead termites are also easily identifiable by their nests and tunnels which appear above ground in the grass, as well as in trees and bushes. Most other termite species keep their nests and tunnels hidden beneath the ground. The conehead termites’ nests resemble a ball of chewed wood and their tunnels are made of mud.  

Signs of an Infestation

Seeing a nest or the termites themselves are the primary indications of an infestation. Conehead termites are easily identifiable due to their distinctively shaped heads and can often be found in groups inside their nests.

They are small, but not too small to be seen by the human eye.  Their nests are built in visible spaces above ground, allowing them to be detected. Tunnels may be harder to spot but also signal an infestation. These mud tubes can be found running along the ground or up onto walls and trees.  

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Conehead Termite Damage

Conehead termites primarily cause structural damage, which can devastate a property if left unnoticed for too long. These pests will eat any wood they find, plywood, deal-board,  furniture, fence posts,  and more.
 
Aside from household destruction, these termites can overwhelm trees and bushes, potentially killing them. 

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