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Subterranean Termites

Along with drywood termites, subterranean termites are the main insect responsible for damage to structures. If left undetected, subterranean termites can tunnel up from the soil along the foundation and damage the wood structure of your home. Thrasher Termite & Pest Control is expert in subterranean termite identification, treatment, and damage repairs. We consistently receive the highest ratings in customer satisfaction and are the #1 termite company recommended by real estate professionals. Make Thrasher Termite & Pest Control your first call when you suspect subterranean termites.

Subterranean Termite Identification

Subterranean termite colonies live live underground in a network of chambers and tunnels used for storing food and raising their young (larvae). Since these colonies are underground, they are often impossible to locate. However, mud shelter tubes are a telltale sign that subterranean termites have invaded your home.

In order to protect themselves from desiccation and predation from ants while foraging above ground, termites build long tubes out of mud and fecal material. Termite workers travel back and forth inside these tubes between the soil and the structure above ground. These mud tubes are called exploratory tubes. Termite exploratory tubes are very easy to see and are one of the best ways to identify a potential termite infestation. Once a source of wood has been located, the termites establish larger, more permanent utility or working tubes. The utility tubes are highways running from the underground termite galleries directly to the food source. –Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension

subterranean termite mud shelters--Thrasher Termite Pest Control Santa Clara and San Diego Counties

Subterranean Termite Mud Shelters, or Tubes

subterranean termite tube Thrasher Termite & Pest Control

Subterranean termite tubes can look like hollow sesame sticks. They are about the same size and same color.

Subterranean Termites are about 1/8 inch long.

Subterranean Termites are about 1/8 inch long. Subterranean termite swarmers have a black body and grayish wings. They look similar to winged ants.

Controlling Subterranean Termites

Thrasher Termite & Pest Control has found the most success in controlling subterranean termites by applying a perimeter soil treatment. Unlike drywood termites, subterranean termites cannot survive without contact to the colony in the soil. The perimeter soil treatment is like an underground chemical moat around a house that prevents subterranean termites from the colony from accessing the house. Any termites left behind in the wood or the mud tubes can’t reach the colony and perish.

Subterranean Termites in Fences

Don’t rely on pressure treatment to protect your fence from termites. The best way to ensure your fence is not destroyed by subterranean termites is to eliminate wood to soil contact. Subterranean termite colonies live in the ground. Worker termites cannot last long outside of their soil or wood tunnels. Keep wood away from the soil to thwart subterranean termites. Attach fence posts to concrete piers set above the soil surface. Keep soil, leaves, and mulch away from fence posts and the base of the fence.

This advice will keep subterranean termites away from your house: keep soil, leaves, and mulch below the concrete footer of your house, and definitely away from any wood siding. Do not attach wood fences or gates to your house. Every three years, order a complete termite inspection of your home from a licensed pest control company such as Thrasher Termite & Pest Control. For more information about subterranean termites in fences (and photos!) read this.

Subterranean Termite Damage

Further Reading

  • Termite Weather

How to Identify Winged Termites

It's termite weather in Northern California. Rain followed by warm weather signals termite colonies to swarm. Those critters that look like ants with wings...termite swarmers. When you see one or two termite swarmers, they probably flew [...]

  • Prepare for Fumigation

Fumigation Safety Measures

Thrasher Termite & Pest Control staff is broken hearted by the news account of the 10-year-old boy suffering from brain damage after fumigation of his family's Florida home. What went wrong? Until the results of the investigation [...]

  • Condominium Fumigation

What does it take to fumigate a condominium?

So, your condo or townhouse has drywood termites. What to do? The best solution according the California Structural Pest Control Board is fumigation, yet in Thrasher Termite & Pest Control's experience, it's really challenging to get [...]

  • Termites Eating Wood Trim

Watch Termites Eating Wood Trim

Watch this video to see what termites are doing inside the wood of your home. We took this video of drywood termites eating their way through the wood trim surrounding a window. The [...]

  • no termites, no residue from drywood termite fumigant. Thrasher Termite & Pest Control

Does Termite Fumigation Leave Residue?

  Thrasher Termite & Pest Control answers commonly asked questions about termite fumigation. Is residue left on surfaces after termite fumigation? Read on for a full explanation of this commonly asked drywood termite fumigation question. [...]

  • Inaccessible Areas Hide Termites

The Most Important Words in a Termite Report

The most important words in a termite report may be, “the […] area was inaccessible for inspection. An unknown further inspection is recommended.” Here's why: Have you ever purchased a piece of fruit with a [...]