Owning a home is one of your most expensive financial commitments. Understandably, you need to safeguard your property against disasters that may damage or depreciate it at all costs. Termites are a commonly overlooked pest that seriously threatens your house.
According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), termites contribute annually to $5 billion in property destruction. These silent yet aggressive destroyers come in a variety of species, with the most common types being drywood and subterranean termites. Here’s further insight into what you should know about the type of termites you’re dealing with and the signs to look out for during an infestation.
Drywood Termites vs Subterranean Termites: Main Differences
A few of the key features that distinguish these types of termites include:
To the inexperienced eye, drywood termites look similar to their subterranean relatives. They both have shades of brown and white that sometimes take up a translucent appearance. However, Subterranean termites are relatively smaller than drywood termites.
In addition, both colonies have termite subtypes called alates that develop wings during the reproductive season. Their wings are the key distinguishing physical trait. Drywood termite wings feature a complex network of at least three to four veins. Meanwhile, subterranean termite wings are simpler, with a single thick vein parallel to the top wing section.
You can also distinguish drywood termites and subterranean termites through their droppings. The termite species have different feeding habits resulting in varying excretory products. As the name suggests, drywood termites consume and thrive on dry wood with low moisture content.
They end up producing sand-like fecal pellets called termite frass. Subterranean termites are pickier eaters as they munch on soft and often moist wood parts. As a result, they excrete cardboard-like, non-rigid droppings called cartons.
In terms of nesting habits, subterranean colonies prefer living inside the ground instead of occupying your home. The mixture of soil is an excellent source of water that is crucial to this species’ survival. They gain entry to your home through cracks in the foundation or walls when foraging for a food source.
Meanwhile, a drywood termite infestation creates nests on any wooden structure in your home and they rarely contact with soil. They enter your home by flying directly through ajar doors, window frames, and attic vents. This menace can also enter by introducing a contaminated piece of wood that acts as a trojan horse and cause extensive damage. You can find them thriving in antiques, furniture, roof beams, floor boards, poles, decks, and other wooden structures.
Size of Colony
Termites live in highly integrated colonies ranging from only two individuals to hundreds of thousands of members. The colonies have a well-defined social structure that comprises several castes, including
- Workers. The colony’s labor force is often the largest group, featuring soft-bodied, wingless termites. They are in charge of searching for food, feeding the queen and larvae, cleaning the nest, and building passageways.
- Soldiers. These soldier termites protect the colony against external invaders. They have a characteristically large pair of mandibles, the key weapons used in defense and attack.
- Reproductives. The colony’s winged male and female sexual adults are responsible for setting up new colonies away from the original ones. These reproductive termites can also replace the existing queen and kings in case they die.
Subterranean termite colonies are typically larger than drywood colonies. Subterranean termites end up inflicting more structural damage to your home if their population is left unchecked.
Signs of Drywood or Subterranean Termite Infestation
When a drywood termite colony infests your home, they bore and leave tiny open holes to kick out their frass. Other telltale signs of a drywood termite invasion or other termite activity include:
- Hollowed out wood
- Broken wings, legs, and mandibles
- Clicking noises inside wood
- Swarming outside your wooden window or door
- Collection of frass
Meanwhile, subterranean termites leave characteristic mud tunnels, burrows, or tubes in your home. The mud tunnels help the termites maintain access to your house while preserving a connection to their nest. The worker termites create these impressive structures using soil, chewed-up wood, saliva, and fecal matter. Another common sign is blisters or dark spots on your wooden floors, indicating seeping external moisture.
The Danger of Termites
All species of termites can inflict serious structural defects on your home. The pests feed voraciously 24/7 on wood and derive cellulose, a crucial energy source for their survival. Most of the wood damage occurs internally and can continue unnoticed, leaving only a husk. If your insurer doesn’t provide cover against termite damage, you may incur the full cost of repairs.
Budget Brothers: Termite Experts
A termite infestation is a homeowner’s worst nightmare. Properly distinguishing drywood vs subterranean termites is crucial to identifying an appropriate treatment method and the appropriate level of urgency. With the help of the Budget Brothers pest control company, you can easily get rid of these pesky creatures and protect your home. Contact us today for professional termite and pest elimination services.