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I found these termite shelter tubes. They are different than what I usually find. Usually the tubes I find are thinner and form tunnels. These were like sheets. Are these perhaps a different kind of termite? If they are the typical subterranean termites I usually find, why the sheet like shelters? They were also eating the wood in a sheet like manner rather than boring through soft wood.

There are a couple of live specimens near the center of the third picture.

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Maybe it has something to do with how the board was cut from the log. Native subs don't eat the growth rings, just cut a hole through them to get to the next layer. If a growth ring is parallel to the surface of the wood, they eat on the surface but need the protection of the mud while they're at it.


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John, two mysteries in one week? Way to go. I can't help with the gremlins in the toilet tanks, but I have a possible answer for this one.


See some pics here. Scroll down to where they were found behind a furnace.


Some earlier docs state that they are not as far North as Maryland, but we know different here in 2013. [:(]

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The termite activity you see is quite common in my area. The pattern of shelter tubes has more to do with the environment, the type of wood, and the moisture content of the wood (although sometimes undetectable with most moisture meters).

My opinion, based on the 3rd photo, is you are dealing with Eastern Subterreannean Termites which are indigenous to your area. With Formosans, once you break open a tube or infested wood member, the number of soldiers will greatly outnumber the number of workers present.

The first picture shows a Formosan infestation in which you can clearly see the number of soldiers outnumber the workers. The second shows a formosan termite attacking my finger, in what I call the last great act of defiance.

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