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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

  • Perimeter Treatment

Subterranean Termite Treatment Explained

Thrasher Termite & Pest Control treats subterranean termites by…
…applying a liquid termiticide around the foundation of your home to create a continuous treatment zone. The termiticide Thrasher uses is a professional termite defense product not available to homeowners. It […]

  • No Painting Before Termite Fumigation

Why You Shouldn’t Paint Before Termite Fumigation

Put down that brush! Don’t paint or refinish your floors right before your property is fumigated for termites.
You also don’t want to install anything that uses adhesive products with cure time, such as engineered wood […]

  • Cellulose Debris

What is Cellulose Debris and Why It’s on Your Termite Report

Termites gobble up cardboard like a teenager with a bag of Doritos.
The 2 x 4s that make up the structure of your home offer plenty of termite food, but wood scraps, cardboard, newspapers, and other […]

  • Soaps, Detergents, and Termite Fumigation

Soaps, Detergents, and Termite Fumigation

Thrasher Termite & Pest Control, Inc. was recently asked if it was okay to use soap and detergent that remained inside a house during a termite fumigation.
Our answer: No problem. Lather up!
Preparation instructions for termite fumigation do not include […]

  • Termite Inspections Identify Fungus

Termite Inspections Include Fungus but not Mold

Why do Termite Inspections Identify Fungus but not Mold?
Thrasher Termite & Pest Control is licensed to conduct inspections for wood destroying organisms (WDOs). Mold does not destroy wood, therefore we’re not trained or licensed to identify […]

  • Rats are Not Included in Termite Reports

The Surprising Reason Termite Inspectors Never Mention Rat Poop

The Surprising Reason Termite Inspectors Never Mention Rat Poop.
You’d think it would be easy to identify rat poop. Poop looks like…poop. When that poop is a certain size, it is a fair conclusion that a rat […]

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