Drywood Termites vs Subterranean Termites

Every species has its own varieties. Different types with different characteristics. So do termites. We are here to discuss its two varieties i.e. Drywood and Subterranean.

Their nesting pattern, appearance, how they feed, everything that can differentiate them will be covered here.

Drywood Termites

Drywood termites are brown or white in color spending on their caste. They can live without having contact with the soil. In terms of size, they are larger than Subterranean Termites. 

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Subterranean Termites

Subterranean Termite looks similar to worker termite. The difference comes in the case of the soldier and the alate castes. Soldier Subterranean Termites have a brownish/yellowish head while Alates have dark brownish coloring.

Drywood Termites vs Subterranean Termites

How to Identify Them?

Based on color and size, these two can easily be identified. The most common sign is their color, solid black color is of Subterranean Termites while solid red belongs to Drywood Termites. 

This is only the common point because if you closely observe their color it will be different from what was mentioned above.

Major Difference

Drywood Termites consists of a complex system of veins, having at least three or four in each wing. On the other hand, subterranean termites have only one thick, dark vein running parallel to their wing. 

Nesting Pattern

Drywood termites infest inside the wood and make it their home. They don’t need to dig mud tubes and require zero contract of soil. In terms of moisture, their requirement is very less.

When it comes to Subterranean Termites, they nest in the ground. They dig mud tubes for protecting themselves from predators and dehydration. These tubes are also used by them for invading purposes.

How do They feed?

Difference Between Drywood Termites vs Subterranean Termites

Drywood Termites feed on grains. They leave galleries as it doesn’t follow the grain of the wood. 

For identifying whether dry wood termites had fed on grains or not, we just have to look for fecal pallets on smooth galleries. 

Subterranean Termites are very choosy. They chew only on the soft parts of woods found in between the grains. 

The invasion of subterranean Termites can be identified by the neat and lined patterns of destruction having mud or dirt in it.


It is not Drywood vs Subterranean termites. It’s Termites vs our home. These invaders can provide a lot of damage to our investments. 

So it’s better to take charge of eliminating them. Whether it’s Drywood or Subterranean, both should be eliminated.

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I'm Daniel White, and I live in Jacksonville, Florida. The warm and humid climate of Florida gives an ideal habitat for many different kinds of pests. So, if I had to live in Florida, I had to learn how to deal with these pests. Now, I have 7 years of experience in Pest Control.

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