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Subterranean vs Drywood Termites - What’s the Difference?

August 16, 2018

Hearing the word “termite” can strike fear into the hearts of any homeowner, and for good reason! These wood-eating pests have the potential to cause significant structural damages inside the homes that they have decided to invade. At Nozzle Nolen, our South Florida pest control professionals understand how devastating, stressful, and scary a termite infestation can be for a homeowner and are here to provide expertise and support. When it comes to termites, knowing a bit about them and partnering with a professional termite expert, this potentially scary situation can be prevented and, if necessary, eliminated very quickly!

termite up close in florida

The first thing to know about South Florida termites is that they are not all the same. In our area, there are two common species of termite that are found invading homes — the subterranean termite and the drywood termite.

The subterranean termite is considered to be the most destructive species of termite found living in the United States; these termites live together in very large colonies, allowing them to cause serious damages to the inside of a home’s structural wood very quickly. These moisture-seeking pests create their nests underneath the ground in the soil, traveling back and forth in the soil from their newly found food source to their nest through mud tubes. Subterranean termites often find their way inside homes and other buildings through cracks in the foundation. Once inside, they will tunnel into and begin feeding on the structural wood found inside, literally eating it from the inside out! This species of termite is especially drawn to wood that has been previously damaged by water. Subterranean termites create extensive tunnels throughout a home’s structural wood and, if not stopped, can cause significant damage to your home’s structural integrity.

Drywood termites also live together in colonies, but their colonies don’t typically grow as large as subterranean termite colonies. Also, unlike their moisture loving cousins, they do not have the same high moisture needs and do not need soil to wood contact to invade structures; instead, they attack homes and other buildings from the air. Drywood termites will land on a home and use their powerful jaws to chew their way inside where they will both nest in and feed on the wooden structure that they have decided to invade. Drywood termites have the potential to establish colonies inside the building that they have invaded. These termites are not drawn to moisture, but prefer to feed on “dry” pieces of wood. Drywood termites tend to cause more targeted damage inside of a home that they are invading, causing significant damages to personal items like furniture, trim, bed frames, stairs, and banisters.

As you can probably tell by now, whether subterranean termites or drywood termites have found their way into your South Florida home, one thing is for sure: neither of them belong there! No matter which species of termite has decided to invade your home, have the peace of mind that the termite control experts at Nozzle Nolen have the experience, determination, and effective solutions needed to completely eliminate the infestation and protect your property from being invaded by wood-destroying termites in the future!

At Nozzle Nolen, we have several treatment options available that are specific to the species of termite that has decided to invade your home; to learn more about both eliminating and preventing termite infestations or to schedule a termite inspection for your home, give the professionals at Nozzle Nolen a call today!


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