For Fast Service, Call…

Which Are Worse – Drywood or Subterranean Termites?

Closeup photo of man's hand pointing out termite damage and a live termite.

Of all the termite species out there, two are responsible for most of the property damage in the US. Those two species are the subterranean and the drywood termites. Let’s take a look at them and see which one is more destructive.

Drywood termites

Drywood termites get their name from their preferred source of food – wood that is low in moisture content. This sets the drywood termites apart from other species, since most species will look for wood that is at least somewhat moist.

New drywood termite colonies are started by swarmers, which are winged reproductive termites that set out to start nests of their own. Because of this, drywood termite infestations can start anywhere in the home, from the roof, to the foundation and even in random pieces of furniture.

Drywood termites will also build their colonies inside the wood that they consume, and this has an impact on the control methods that are used against this species. One of the methods used is the direct-application insecticide, which is adequate when the colonies are small. However, a small colony can expand throughout the home, and when this happens, a different approach is needed – fumigation. Fumigation is by far the most expensive termite treatment method, but it is the only way in which an extensive drywood termite infestation can be removed.

Subterranean termites

Subterranean termites are unique in their own way. While they will target wood that has some level of moisture in it, like other termite species, they will build their colonies underground. This allows the subterranean termites to build huge colonies, with millions of members.

When they infest a piece of wood, they do it from underneath, tunneling up from their colonies. Because they do not have to start from zero when they infest wood, they can deploy many, many workers at once, and this greatly accelerates the damage that they can do to the home, making them the most destructive termite species in the US.

The nature of their colonies also requires a different approach to treatment. Essentially, when dealing with subterranean termites, you need to either cut off their contact to the home using a chemical barrier, or use a baiting system to destroy the entire colony.

A pest control professional will first perform an inspection on the building to determine the species responsible for the infestation, and then recommend a course of action. For more information about these two species and how they are controlled, contact us today.

Get an Estimate

See What We Do