Difference Between Subterranean And Drywood Termites


Termites can be classified into two types: subterranean and dry wood. Each type of termite has its unique habits and characteristics. Take a closer look at the drywood termites and subterranean to know how they differ from each other.

Know About Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites are the common termite type in the United States. They can be formed as colonies underground and form mud tubes to access food sources. Subterranean termites are social insects that live in large colonies with a caste system. The colony is made up of workers, soldiers, swarmers (reproductive termites), and the king and queen.

Construct Tunnels And Chambers

The subterranean termite colony constructs tunnels and chambers in wood. These chambers are used to store food and shelter the queen, king, nymphs, and eggs. The workers build mud tubes to travel from the nest to their food source.

Wood Contact With Soil

Subterranean termites need contact with soil to maintain their moisture level. If wood is in contact with the ground, it provides a pathway for the subterranean termite to reach the wood.

What Are Drywood Termites?

Drywood termites are less common compared to subterranean termites. Drywood lives in dry, undecayed wood and does not need contact with the ground to survive. Drywood termites usually live in small colonies of up to 2,500 individuals. They are also social insects with a caste system, but the colony is much smaller than that of a subterranean termite.

Build Galleries In Sound Wood

Drywood termites build their galleries in sound wood. The galleries are used to store food and shelter the queen, king, nymphs, and eggs. The workers do not build mud tubes because they do not need contact with the ground to survive.

Do Not Require Contact With Soil

Drywood termites do not require contact with soil to survive. They get the moisture they need from the wood they eat.

As drywood and subterranean termites have different living styles so both required different treatments.

Facts About Subterranean Termites

The facts about subterranean termites are:

  • Subterranean termite infestation is far more destructive than the dry-wood termite. They can cause significant damage to homes and buildings.
  • Workers build shelter tubes to travel in darkness and protect themselves from predators.
  • Subterranean termites live in colonies that can contain millions of individuals.
  • They can tunnel through the wood, compromising the structural integrity of the building. They can collapse an entire building.
  • This kind of termite damage assists the high-growth of the population to get the cellulose from various things of wooden items.

Facts About Drywood Termites

The factual information about dry wood termites is given below which make contrasts with subterranean termites.

  • Drywood termites cause damage to wood, but not to the extent that subterranean termites do.
  • They are more common in tropical and subtropical regions than in temperate regions.
  • These termite colonies can contain up to 5,000 termites.
  • Drywood termites like the harder layer of the wood, so they tend to damage the surface of the wood rather than a tunnel through it.
  • Drywood termites generally eat wood from the inside out, so the damage they cause is not always visible.

Divergence Between The Two Types Of Termites

The two types of termites, subterranean and dry wood, have some key differences in their habits and characteristics.

How They Have Different Looks

The most obvious difference between the two types of termites is their appearance. Subterranean termites are pale-yellow and have long, slender bodies. Unlike Subterranean termites, drywood termites are dark brown or black and have barrel-shaped bodies.

Nesting Colonies Habits

Another key difference between the two types of termites is their nesting habits. Subterranean termites build their nests in the soil, where they have access to moisture. Drywood termites build their nests in dry wood, where they do not need access to moisture.

Size Of Colonies

Subterranean termites have much larger multiple colonies than drywood termites. A typical subterranean termite colony can contain millions of individuals, while a typical drywood termite colony only contains up to 5,000 individuals.

Destruction Intensity

Subterranean termites are much more faster and destructive than drywood termites. Some types of sub-termites can build their nests entirely underground, making them undetectable until they have caused significant damage to the structure of a home or building.

Drywood termite infestation is less common than subterranean termites, but they destroy quietly without anyone’s knowledge. They are attracted to damp or moist wood, so they are more likely to be found in areas that are exposed to moisture, such as kitchens and bathrooms.

Which One Termite Has Easy To Remove?

Drywood termites are easier to remove than subterranean termites because they build their nests in dry wood. This means that if you find a drywood termite nest, you can simply remove the piece of wood that contains the nest and destroy it.

Subterranean termites are much more difficult to remove because they build their nests in the soil. This means that if you find a subterranean termite nest, you will need to dig up the entire nest and destroy it.

Treatment For Both Types Of Termites

The best way to treat both types of termite infestations is to prevent them from getting into your home in the first place. There are a few things you can do to prevent termites damage and termite control:

  • Make sure that all wood that comes into contact with the ground is treated with a termiticide.
  • Repair any cracks in your foundation or walls.
  • Use a dehumidifier to keep the air in your home dry.
  • Inspect your home regularly for signs of termites.

If you already have pest infestation in your home, you will need to call a professional pest control company to get rid of them. Do not try to treat the problem yourself, as you will likely make it worse. A professional pest control company will be able to safely and effectively get rid of the termites in your home.

Call Professional Pest Control

If you may have termites, it is important to call our professional Termites and Pests Termite & Pest Control company immediately. Termites can cause a lot of damage to your home if they are left untreated, so it is important to get rid of them as soon as possible.

Our Locations

Clarksville, TN

Nashville, TN

Huntsville, AL


Find Your Local Office

Enter your zip code to find your local area office: