Termites of Columbia County, Oregon

Termites are social insects, with colonies that can contain millions of individuals. Most are infertile workers and soldiers, while only a few are “kings” and “queens”. You’ll see these reproductive adults flying to spread out and mate during rainy seasons, then they lose their wings and start producing larvae. Termites feed on dead plant matter, most notoriously dead wood, and as such are important recyclers in the ecosystem. Though often associated with ants in the public eye, they in fact evolved from wood-eating cockroaches.

Pacific Dampwood Termite Zootermopsis angusticollis soldier columbia county northwest oregon
Pacific Dampwood Termite (workers) – to 0.5″. Brownish in color and fairly large. These termites only infest waterlogged or rotten wood and thus are not a serious house pest. (photo © R.J. Adams)
Pacific Dampwood Termite Zootermopsis angusticollis soldier columbia county northwest oregon
Pacific Dampwood Termite (soldier) – To 0.7″. Like the workers but larger with a large head and formidable mandibles for defense. (photo © R.J. Adams)
Pacific Dampwood Termite (reproductive adults) – To over 1″ long. Adults are large and brownish. They swarm during dusk in early fall. (photo © James Bailey)
Western Subterranean Termite Reticulitermes hesperus worker columbia county northwest oregon
Western Subterranean Termite (workers) – To 0.2″. Translucent white in color and smaller than dampwood termites. Can be found building mud tunnels to all kinds of wood. (photo © Cat Kizer)
Western Subterranean Termite Reticulitermes hesperus soldier columbia county northwest oregon
Western Subterranean Termite (soldier) – About 0.4″. Like the workers are creamy white in color, though with much larger and darker heads and more prominent mandibles. (photo © Rich Hoyer)
Western Subterranean Termite Reticulitermes hesperus flying adults columbia county northwest oregon
Western Subterranean Termite (reproductive adults) – To 0.4″. Adults are small and blackish. They swarm during the day, typically after rains. (photo © Rich Hoyer)

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