Drywood Termites are larger than subterranean termites, up to one-half inch long. Drywood termites create colonies in wood and require very little moisture to survive. Unlike Subterranean Termites, they do not require any direct connection to soil. They eat all types of wood and occasionally other cellulose material like cardboard or books. Drywood Termite infestations can exist for long periods of time before being discovered, often eating wood away but leaving the paint in place. The most common evidence of Drywood termites is small piles of sawdust colored pellets that fall from kick-out holes made by the termites. Just one or two pellets is difficult to see, but over time an active colony will create thousands of these pellets making their presence more obvious.
Subterranean Termites are smaller than Drywood termites, approximately one-fourth inch long. They create colonies in the soil and require moisture to survive. Unlike Drywood Termites, they do require a direct connection to soil. They build tubes up the side of concrete foundations or straight out of the ground, making highway tunnels for traveling to their food source and back. They eat all types of wood and occasionally other cellulose material like cardboard or books. The most common evidence of Subterranean Termites is the presence of mud tunnels along the interior or exterior foundation of the house.