National Pesticide Information Center




Termites are wood eaters and they can cause significant damage to homes and other wooden structures. There are three different types of termites: drywood, subterranean, and damp wood. Because of their different habitats and behaviors, specific control measures are used for each type of termite.

Control tips:

  • Make sure you have properly identified the termites. Many ants can be easily confused with termites because they look very similar and tend to swarm at the same time. Check out the resources below with pictures and descriptions.
  • Successful termite control often requires specific knowledge of termite behavior and treatment techniques. Do-it-yourself termite treatments may not be as effective as professional treatments. Some termiticides can only be used by trained and licensed professionals.
  • Take your time and do your homework when selecting a termite control company. Termite treatments can be costly and time consuming. Getting estimates, inspections, treatment and warranty information from multiple companies can help you make an informed choice between companies, pesticides and methods.
  • Prevent termites from infesting your home by removing wood stored under or next to your house. It can act as a bridge for termites to go from the soil to your house.

If you have questions about this, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 1-800-858-7378 (8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email us at npic@ace.orst.edu.

Additional Resources:

Identification and Control:




Last updated March 15, 2016