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There are about 2750 termite species worldwide, but only a few of them are considered pests in the US. The two most common termite pest species in the US are the drywood and subterranean termites. So what is the difference between these two?

Drywood termites

Drywood termites are the least common of the two species, and they are mostly located in humid regions and along the coasts of the US. This is because drywood termites nead areas that are high in humidity in order to survive. These termites have smaller colonies that are built completely within the wood, and this makes them much harder to detect than other species. The diet of the drywood termite consists of both soft and hard wood, and they eat along and across the grain, making their tunnels inside of the wood have a distinct look.

In terms of appearance, drywood termites are almost identical to their subterranean brethren, with shades of brown and white coloration. They are however much larger, and their swarmers do not lose their wings when they die, as opposed to subterranean swarmers which may or may not lose their wings.

Subterranean termites

Subterranean termites are by far the most common species in home infestations across the world and in the US. They prefer to eat softer wood, and you can tell whether the wood has subterranean termites in it if you notice that the tunnels are excavated along the grain. This species will create its colonies in the ground, and from that central location, they will spread out infesting the wood they find along the way.

One interesting fact about subterranean termites is that they cannot survive direct contact with air for a very long time, so they will build mud tubes when they need to travel above ground. This means that you will notice a subterranean infestation first by the mud tubes reaching out from the ground to the wood in your home.

However, outside of seeing the mud tunnels, it’s hard to tell when you have an infestation. The termites will stay inside the wood and tunnel through it without creating any external signs of damage. The best way to make sure that your home is safe is to have regular termite inspections done by a professional. Contact us today if you would like to set up a routine termite inspection program that will keep your home safe.