What’s The Difference Between Drywood And Subterranean Termites?

Have you ever wondered about the difference between drywood and subterranean termites? Well, look no further. In this article, we will explore the distinctions between these two termite species, including their habitat differences and behavioral contrasts. Additionally, we will delve into how fast termites can damage wood and discuss natural ways to repel them. Are you curious about what termite droppings look like or how to repair termite-damaged wood? We’ve got you covered. We will also address whether termites are visible to the naked eye and why they are attracted to wood. Furthermore, we will investigate whether termites can eat through treated wood and the season when they are most active. Lastly, we will explore the likelihood of all homes eventually getting termites and delve into the life cycle of these pests. Oh, and don’t forget the effectiveness of termite baits compared to liquid treatments. So, let’s dive in and uncover the answers to our burning questions: what’s the difference between drywood and subterranean termites?

Termite species

Termites are a type of insect that can cause significant damage to wooden structures. There are various species of termites, each with its own unique characteristics and behaviors. Two common types of termites are drywood termites and subterranean termites.

Drywood termites

Drywood termites, as their name suggests, primarily infest dry wood. They do not require contact with soil for survival, unlike subterranean termites. Drywood termites are usually found in regions with drier climates and are commonly found in homes and buildings.

Subterranean termites

On the other hand, subterranean termites thrive in moist environments and live underground. They build intricate colonies with a complex system of tunnels and mud tubes that they use to access their food sources. Subterranean termites are more widespread than drywood termites and can be found in various regions.

Habitat differences

The habitat preferences of drywood termites and subterranean termites differ significantly.

Drywood termites

Drywood termites infest dry wood, such as furniture, hardwood floors, and wooden structures in homes and buildings. These termites do not require contact with soil and can survive solely on the moisture present in the wood they infest. Drywood termites can often be found in attics, crawl spaces, and wooden beams.

Subterranean termites

Subterranean termites, as their name implies, live underground and have a close association with soil. They build extensive underground colonies connected by tunnels and mud tubes. These termites rely on soil contact for moisture and use the tunnels to access above-ground food sources, such as wooden structures. Subterranean termites can infest foundations, basements, and other areas with soil contact.

Whats The Difference Between Drywood And Subterranean Termites?

Behavior contrast

The behavior of drywood termites and subterranean termites also varies.

Drywood termites

Drywood termites typically infest small, localized areas within a wooden structure. They create chambers and tunnels within the wood, where they establish their colonies. Drywood termites are known for their tendency to remain hidden and secretive. They often go undetected for long periods, causing significant damage before their presence is noticed.

Subterranean termites

Subterranean termites have highly organized social structures and live in large colonies. They send out worker termites to search for food sources, such as wood. These termites can forage up to 300 feet from their colony, making them capable of causing widespread damage. Subterranean termites are more aggressive in their feeding habits compared to drywood termites.

Infestation rate

The rate of termite infestations can vary depending on the species involved.

Drywood termites

Drywood termite infestations are generally slower to develop compared to subterranean termites. These termites infest small, localized areas within a wooden structure, often gaining access through cracks or crevices. The colony size of drywood termites tends to be smaller, resulting in a slower rate of infestation.

Subterranean termites

Subterranean termite infestations can occur rapidly and on a larger scale. With their extensive tunneling system, subterranean termites can quickly access and infest multiple areas of a structure. The large colony sizes of subterranean termites, consisting of hundreds of thousands of individuals, contribute to their ability to cause significant damage in a relatively short period.

Whats The Difference Between Drywood And Subterranean Termites?

Damage progression

The progression of termite damage differs between drywood termites and subterranean termites.

Drywood termites

Drywood termites consume wood from the inside out, starting with the softer layers and moving towards the surface. As they feed, they create galleries and tunnels within the wood, weakening its structural integrity. Initially, the damage caused by drywood termites may be difficult to detect, as they often remain hidden inside the wooden structure.

Subterranean termites

Subterranean termites also feed on the internal layers of wood but typically start at the ground level or below. They build mud tubes to navigate above ground, protecting them from desiccation and providing a pathway to their food sources. The damage caused by subterranean termites can be extensive, as they can infest multiple areas simultaneously.

Destruction timeline

The timeline of destruction caused by drywood termites and subterranean termites can vary.

Drywood termites

The destruction caused by drywood termites is often slower compared to subterranean termites. Due to their smaller colony size and localized infestations, it may take years for significant damage to become apparent. However, if left untreated, drywood termites can cause severe structural damage over time.

Subterranean termites

Subterranean termites, with their larger colonies and more aggressive feeding habits, can cause rapid and extensive damage. Depending on the size of the colony and the conditions, subterranean termites can significantly compromise the structural integrity of a building in a matter of months or even weeks.

Whats The Difference Between Drywood And Subterranean Termites?

Organic repellents

When it comes to repelling termites from wood, there are several organic repellents available.

Eco-friendly methods

Eco-friendly methods of termite repellent involve using natural substances that are safe for the environment and humans. These can include plant-based oils, such as neem oil or orange oil, which have repellent properties against termites. Eco-friendly methods focus on deterring termites from infesting wood without causing harm to the environment.

Natural deterrents

Natural deterrents involve using materials or objects that termites find unappealing or difficult to navigate through. For example, sand barriers or diatomaceous earth can create physical barriers that termites are less likely to cross. Other options include using termite-resistant woods or implementing proper ventilation and moisture control measures to discourage termite infestation.

Liquid termiticides

Liquid termiticides are commonly used to treat and prevent termite infestations.

Termiticides are chemical compounds specifically designed to target termites and protect wooden structures. Liquid termiticides can be applied as a barrier or directly injected into the soil around a building’s foundation to create a protective zone. These termiticides work by either repelling termites or killing them upon contact, effectively preventing infestations and protecting vulnerable areas.

In conclusion, understanding the differences between drywood termites and subterranean termites is essential for effectively dealing with termite infestations. While drywood termites primarily infest dry wood and have slower rates of infestation, subterranean termites thrive in moist environments and can cause rapid and extensive damage. By implementing preventive measures and utilizing repellents or termiticides, homeowners can protect their properties from these destructive insects. Organic repellents, eco-friendly methods, and natural deterrents provide alternative options for those looking for environmentally friendly approaches. Liquid termiticides offer a more traditional solution for termite control, leveraging the use of chemical barriers to prevent infestations. By staying informed and proactive, you can minimize the risk of termite infestations and protect your valuable wooden structures for years to come.

Whats The Difference Between Drywood And Subterranean Termites?


Hi there, I'm termiteswood, the author behind Termites Wood Haven. Welcome to my website, where I aim to provide you with the ultimate guide to understanding termites and their interactions with wood. Your wooden structures deserve the best protection, and that's why I'm here to help. Dive deep into the fascinating world of termites, from exploring their biology to learning effective ways to safeguard your precious timber. With Termites Wood Haven, you can explore, learn, and confidently defend against these incredible insects. Join me on this educational journey as we uncover the secrets of termites and wood.