Compare Drywood and Eastern Subterranean Termites

Drywood termites and eastern subterranean termites are two different species of termites that have distinct characteristics and behaviors. Here’s a detailed comparison of these two types of termites:

  1. Habitat:
    • Drywood Termites: These termites live and thrive inside dry wood, such as furniture, wooden beams, or wooden structures. They don’t require contact with the soil for survival.
    • Eastern Subterranean Termites: These termites live underground in colonies and require contact with the soil for moisture and survival. They build mud tubes to connect their nests in the soil to the wooden structures they infest.
  2. Geographic Range:
    • Drywood Termites: They are commonly found in tropical and subtropical regions, particularly in coastal areas.
    • Eastern Subterranean Termites: They are primarily found in the eastern United States, extending from the Gulf Coast to southern Canada.
  3. Colony Size:
    • Drywood Termites: They typically have smaller colonies compared to eastern subterranean termites. A mature drywood termite colony can range from a few hundred to a few thousand individuals.
    • Eastern Subterranean Termites: They form larger colonies compared to drywood termites. A mature subterranean termite colony can have several hundred thousand to several million individuals.
  4. Feeding Habits:
    • Drywood Termites: These termites feed exclusively on dry wood, consuming cellulose material found in wooden structures without the need for soil contact.
    • Eastern Subterranean Termites: They feed on cellulose material found in decaying wood, including dead trees, stumps, and wooden structures. They rely on soil contact to maintain moisture levels.
  5. Damage:
    • Drywood Termites: Since they infest dry wood, they can cause significant damage to furniture, wooden floors, frames, and other wooden structures. Their infestations are often localized and confined to specific areas.
    • Eastern Subterranean Termites: They are known to cause extensive damage to structures, including wooden foundations, support beams, and other cellulose-based materials. Their mud tubes and underground tunnels make it easier for them to reach multiple entry points in a building.
  6. Swarmers:
    • Drywood Termites: Swarmers, or reproductive termites, are typically seen during the spring or summer. They have a dark brown or black body and shed their wings after mating.
    • Eastern Subterranean Termites: Swarmers are dark brown or black and are most commonly seen during the spring. They also shed their wings after mating.
  7. Detection:
    • Drywood Termites: Detecting drywood termite infestations can be challenging since they do not require soil contact. Infestations are often discovered when their fecal pellets (small hexagonal-shaped droppings) are found near infested wood or when damage becomes apparent.
    • Eastern Subterranean Termites: They build mud tubes as protective tunnels between the soil and the infested structure. These tubes are often the first visible sign of an infestation. Wood damage and swarmers may also indicate an infestation.
  8. Control and Treatment:
    • Drywood Termites: Treatment methods include localized spot treatments, fumigation, or heat treatment of the infested wood or structure. This is often a more targeted approach due to their localized nature.
    • Eastern Subterranean Termites: Control measures involve soil treatments around the foundation, baiting systems, and the use of liquid termiticides to create a barrier. The goal is to protect the entire structure from potential infestations.

It’s important to note that both drywood termites and eastern subterranean termites can cause significant damage if left untreated. If you suspect a termite infestation, it’s advisable to consult a professional pest control company for an accurate identification and appropriate treatment.

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