Subterranean Termites vs. Drywood Termites

Subterranean TermiteDrywood Termite

Wood-Eating Pests

Termite infestations are a serious problem for homeowners. The subterranean species is common across the Mid-Atlantic states. While drywood termites are not native to the area, rare infestations may occur. Knowing the signs of both insects can help residents identify the problem as subterranean termites vs. drywood termites before the pests take over.

Drywood vs. Subterranean Termites in Homes


The biggest difference between these two termite species is their habitat. Subterranean termite colonies nest underground and create mud tubes. These slim tunnels stretch from the ground to wood and allow the pests to enter homes. These insects also use shelter tubes to cross concrete and access new sources of lumber.

On the other hand, drywood termites build nests in timber. Furniture and other wooden items shipped from different parts of the country are common sources of infestation. Once inside, colonies can produce winged swarmers that start nests in new areas of the house.


Identifying drywood vs. subterranean termite droppings is easy due to their appearance and location. Because drywood termites nest inside wood, they bore kick holes in the surface to remove their feces. The pests’ waste looks like sawdust and collects under infested lumber.

In contrast, subterranean termites use droppings, saliva, and wood to build their mud tunnels. This is the only time residents are likely to notice the insects’ feces.

Subterranean Termite vs. Drywood Termite Damage

Both drywood and subterranean termites are harmful structural pests. Their feeding patterns cause costly damage that gets worse over time. Homeowners who spot termite mud tubes or droppings should contact the team at Western Pest Services for help.