Subterranean Termite Damage Looks Like This

Subterranean Termite Damage Revealed

Most termite damage is invisible because termites are only interested in chewing through wood. Subterranean termite damage is no different, but they way they attack your home is very different from the behavior of drywood termites. Subterranean termites live underground and venture out only to feast on your home. They often build mud tubes up the side of the cement foundation of your home. These tubes become subterranean termite highways from the underground colony to the wood of your home.

Subterranean Termite Colony Illustration

Subterranean Termite Colony Illustration

To the untrained eye, wood on the exterior and interior of your home may appear sound, such as in the photo below. Because this 2 x 6 piece of wood was removed from a home while we were in the process of repairing subterranean termite damage, we knew there was damage inside of it.

Subterranean Termites Inside

Subterranean termites are chewing their way through this wood. Can’t see them, can you?

Without much effort we pulled off a strip of the outer layer of the 2 x 6 to expose the damage inside.

Subterranean termite tunnel is evident in the same piece of wood, once we pulled off the loose outer layer.

Subterranean termite tunnel is evident in the same piece of wood, once we pulled off the loose outer layer.

There was so much rot and damage a mere 1/4″ from the wood surface that the subterranean termite trail was clearly visible to our trained eyes.  If you have a difficult time identifying the trail, look at the image below.

Subterranean Termite Damage

Another image of the subterranean termite tunnel highlighted with a dashed line.

As we continued pulling out termite damage, we came across this well-chewed piece of wood buried deeply inside of a wall. This wood shows the typical chew pattern of subterranean termites. They tend to attack the wood between the growth rings. Termites did such a good job of destroying this wood, it crumbled as we pulled it out. It was a challenge to find a large enough chunk to photograph.

Subterranean Termite Damage

Typical subterranean termite damage deep in wood framing or studs.

Please Note

No houses were harmed in the process of taking these photographs. Termite damaged wood was removed and replaced with sound wood to restore the structural integrity of the home. The subterranean termites, however, were greatly harmed in the process and their colony decimated. We make no apology.

About the Author:

Garrett Thrasher is Vice President and General Manager of Thrasher Termite & Pest Control of So Cal, Inc., Chairperson of the San Diego District of the Pest Control Operators of California (PCOC), a member of the bedbugFREE network, and a member of the National Pest Management Association. Author of The Bed Bug Battle Plan: Field Tested Solutions for Bed Bug Extermination and Prevention (ISBN: 1500838209), Garrett’s solid understanding of bed bugs, their behavior, current outbreaks, and experience on camera has made him a leading contact for news and media outlets. He is also a sought after speaker on the topic of managing online reviews for positive impact. He has spoken at PestWorld and PestTech, and was featured in PCT Magazine and the PCT Podcast. Thrasher Termite & Pest Control of So Cal is accredited by QualityPro–the mark of excellence in pest management.

One Comment

  1. […] means that the buyer is accepting the property with all its defects, including dry rot, termite damage, fungus, beetles, and other issues. Most buyers are savvy enough to order any recommended drywood […]

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