Subterranean termites come up from the ground through tubes they have built. They survive by living in family groups (colonies) in the soil.Subterranean termite workers occasionally move from their colonies in the ground search of a food source (which can be your home, scrap wood, trees, etc) and return back to their colonies to feed the other termites. Subterranean termites may also build a colony at the base of your house and occasionally go back into the ground in search of another water source.
The dry wood termites like wood with very low moisture content and do not need any contact with soil moisture to survive. Dry wood termites build colonies in structural wood, furniture, moldings, doors and window frames, fences, utility posts and more. Dry wood termites do not live their colonies in search of water, unlike the subterranean counterparts.