Tip Sheet: 3 Types of Termites and How to Deal With Them

by Matt Solis

Many people assume there’s only one kind of termite, but in reality it’s not that simple. In fact, there are three different types of termites found in the Bay Area, which is why it’s good to know how to identify and deal with each.


Unlike drywood and subterranean termites, dampwood termites don’t actually pose a threat to your home. Photo: American Ratings Corporation (2016)

1. Dampwood termites
If you find dampwood termites in your home, there’s good news and bad news. The good news: since they only eat damp, rotten wood, they’re actually doing you a favor. The bad news: damp, rotten wood means there’s some kind of leak in your home. Once you’ve fixed the leak and removed the rot, the termites will go away.

2. Drywood termites
One of the most effective ways to deal with drywood termites is to apply a non-repellant termiticide. The termites mistake the treatment material for food and carry it back to their nest, where it acts like a deadly virus that spreads throughout the colony.

3. Subterranean termites
These termites are so-called because they come from underneath the ground and enter garages and basements through cracks in a home’s concrete foundation. The best treatment option for subterranean termites is monitoring and baiting—it’ll draw them away from the house and minimize the need for interior chemical treatment.

To view and/or download this Tip Sheet as a PDF, click here.