Subterranean Termites Vs. Drywood Termites

There are many termite species out there, but in the US, two come out on top when it comes to the damage that they can do in the home: subterranean termites and drywood termites. Let’s take a look at these two species and the differences between them.

Subterranean termites

Subterranean termites get their name from how they build their colonies. This species will build sprawling nests under the ground, which can have up to a few million members and which will infest multiple pieces of wood. They are also the most damaging termite species in the US, causing billions of dollars in damage each year.

In order to control a subterranean termite infestation, chemical barriers and/or baiting systems will be used. The first method is designed to cut the pathway between the colony and the home, and the second is used to kill off an entire colony by poisoning it with baits. Chemical barriers are the preferred control method though, because they are much faster acting, and in certain situations, the two methods are implemented at the same time.

In order to detect a subterranean termite infestation, homeowners and pest control pros must search for mud tubes, which will connect the ground to wooden materials that have an obstacle in the way (such as the foundation). These tubes make subterranean termite infestations easier to detect than other termite species.

Drywood termites

Drywood termite colonies will build their colonies inside of wood, which makes it harder for these termites to cause damage very fast, since the colony has to grow in size before it can pose any real threat. This means that drywood termites are not as damaging as subterranean termites, but once an infestation is large enough, the home will need to be fumigated, which is the most expensive control method. Smaller infestations on the other hand are controlled with wood treatments, which are cheap and fast to implement. Because the colonies are built directly in the wood, they are harder to detect, and they may require specialized equipment that can detect movement and sound inside the wood.

So to conclude, subterranean termite infestations tend to be worse on average, but drywood termites will cost more to treat if they are widespread. If you would like to know more information about the various termite species out there, or if you have a termite infestation that needs to be removed, contact us today and one of our team members will help you out.

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