A Subterranean termite can measure up to 1/4 inch long. These insects consist of a colony, with certain termites playing a specific role so the colony can thrive. The worker does damage to wood, has no wings and is light in color. The soldier has a longer head with mandibles and works to protect the colony. Then there are the primary reproductives, or swarmers, mostly seen by homeowners. They have wings and are darker than the others. Swarmers are commonly confused with ants.
Subterranean termites usually live under ground in a colony that can reach up to one million members. They depend on a moisture-rich environment. The workers build mud tubes toward structural wood, so that they can eat the wood and take it back to the colony to share. Sometimes mud tubes can be seen in the crawlspaces of homes, going up foundation walls or pier blocks.
A Drywood termite can measure 1/2 inch long. They create colonies inside of wood with as many as 3,000 members. These termites need very little moisture to survive.
Drywood termites eat across the grain on the inside of the wood to create hollow chambers inside the wood, called galleries. Once a gallery is created, they live within of the wood.
A dampwood termite range from 1/8 to 1/3 of an inch long, They are a white cream color and have darker abdomens. Colonies of dampwood termites could consist of up to 4000 individuals.
Dampwood termites do not require contact with soil but, the wood they infest must have high moisture content. They will infest almost any kind of wood and tolerate a very high-level of moisture.