Termites are a homeowner’s nightmare. These small, elusive insects can cause immense damage to your property, often without you even noticing until it’s too late. Two of the most common types found in homes are Subterranean Termites and Drywood Termites. While they may seem identical to the untrained eye, there are key differences between these two species that can help you identify and tackle an infestation effectively. Understanding these differences is key to protecting your property.

Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites are the most destructive species of termite in the United States and many parts of the world. These creatures live in large colonies that can number in the millions.

Habitat and Behavior

As their name suggests, Subterranean termites live underground, usually in the soil. They construct intricate networks of mud tunnels, known as “termite tubes,” to reach food sources and protect themselves from open air. These tubes are often the first sign of a Subterranean termite infestation.

Subterranean termites are attracted to moist environments and can often be found in areas where wood comes into contact with the ground or in places with poor drainage. They can also enter buildings through cracks in the foundation or utility entrances.


Subterranean termites primarily consume softwood, the springwood part of the rings in the wood, and can leave behind a damaged structure with a honeycomb appearance. The extensive damage they can cause is due to the sheer size of their colonies. Left untreated, a Subterranean termite infestation can completely ruin a building’s structural integrity.

Drywood Termites

In contrast to their subterranean counterparts, Drywood termites are less widespread but still pose a significant risk to homeowners.

Habitat and Behavior

Drywood termites live up to their name – they infest dry wood, such as that found in attic spaces, eaves, and other parts of a building away from the ground. Unlike Subterranean termites, they don’t require contact with the soil and don’t build mud tubes.

These termites live directly inside the wood they consume, creating a network of chambers and tunnels. They get all the moisture they need from the wood itself and the air, allowing them to live in drier conditions.


Drywood termites consume both softwood and hardwood, resulting in a more random pattern of damage than Subterranean termites. They create large, smooth-sided chambers connected by small tunnels. The most telltale sign of a Drywood termite infestation is the piles of fecal pellets they leave behind, often resembling sawdust or coffee grounds.

While both Subterranean and Drywood termites can wreak havoc on your home, they differ significantly in their behavior, habitat, and signs of infestation. Understanding these differences is crucial to early detection and effective treatment.

Whether you’re dealing with Subterranean or Drywood termites, professional pest control services are usually the best approach. These experts have the knowledge, tools, and treatments necessary to eliminate termite colonies and protect your home from future invasions. Regular inspections and preventative measures can also go a long way in keeping these unwelcome guests from taking up residence in your home. Remember, when it comes to termites, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

If you’re looking for some 
top-notch termite control for your home, look no further than the professionals at CAPE Pest Control . With our courteous and quick service and stunning track record, we’re the best bet for dealing with any termite-based threats you might encounter. Keep your home safe and whole, with CAPE Pest Control!

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