Listed below is a quick description of the most common species of termites.

Drywood termites
Drywood termites feed on sound wood without water damage. Drywood termites, compared to subterranean termites, live in small colonies. These termites feed slowly, but very efficiently. They leave hardly anything but a thin exterior shell behind when feeding on a piece of wood. Drywood termites live in Hawaii, parts of California, and throughout southern United States.

Eastern subterranean
Eastern subterranean termites also live together in large colonies, but their colonies are not as extensive as Formosan termites. A single colony may have hundreds of thousands of members. Though their colonies are smaller, they cause more damage each year because they are more common and widespread. Eastern subterranean termites live throughout most of the United States, including Hawaii.

Formosan termites
Formosan termites are subterranean termites that live in vast colonies (millions of members per colony). Due to their large colony size and aggressive feeding habits, they can cause a lot of damage in a short time (6 months). These termites create both underground and aerial nests. Formosan termites live in southeastern United States and Hawaii.


Termites are dangerous pests if not caught early because their feeding habits will cause considerable damage to the structures they’re feeding on. The damage is costly to repair, and adding insult to injury is the unfortunate fact that most homeowners’ insurance does not cover termite damage. Subterranean termites prefer to feed on water damaged wood. They invade buildings and attack structural wood located above ceilings, behind walls, and below floors, which, over time, damages the structural integrity of the building. Drywood termites attack sound wood and can cause significant damage to things like wood beams, furniture, and playsets.

Termites can find their way into any home. The warm weather found in California, Florida, and Hawaii, allow these pests to thrive and remain very active throughout the entire year. Subterranean termites typically find their way inside while out foraging for food. Drywood termites get into homes and businesses inside already infested pieces of lumber, flooring, or wood furniture. Termites do not sleep; they work 24/7 to feed their colony.

Eastern subterranean termites and Formosan termites do not nest within the wood they are feeding on. The workers travel back and forth from their nest to food source every day. They build their nests in the soil and infest wood that’s making contact with the soil. They also enter buildings through cracks they discover in foundations.

In addition to their underground nests, Formosan termites create carton nests above the ground. You’ll find their aerial nests on the rooftops of buildings with flat roofs or between wall voids. These carton nests protect them, allowing them to nest above the ground while still maintaining their moisture levels. Unlike subterranean termites, drywood termites live and nest inside of the wooden structures they feed on. They nest above the ground in dry pieces of wood like lumber, utility poles, and fences.

With over 250 years of combined leadership experience, P.E.S.T. (Providing Exterminating Solutions Today) is the best choice to rid termites from your California, Florida, or Hawaii home or business. We are North America’s largest fumigation company, dedicated to our customers and to providing safe and effective termite solutions.

If you are looking for an experienced, dedicated professional to eliminate wood-eating termites from your property, contact P.E.S.T. and request your free inspection today!

In addition to our residential pest control and commercial pest control services, use the following tips to prevent termite infestations:

  • Replace mulch with gardening materials like crushed rock, rubber mulch, or other non-organic options.
  • Clean gutters to prevent water from entering your house along the roofline.
  • Fix leaky pipes, faucets, or fixtures inside or outside your home.
  • Inspect furniture and other wood items for signs of termites.
  • Ventilate crawlspaces.
  • Repair roof damage.
  • Do not overwater your lawn or garden areas.
  • Limit soil-to-wood contact around your house and on your property.
  • Remove fallen trees, tree stumps, old fences, and old piles of wood from your property.
  • Install weatherstripping around windows and doors to prevent rainwater from seeping into the walls of your home.