Signs You Have Subterranean Termites

Posted on October 28, 2014 · Posted in Termite Control
Subterranean Termite Signs and the Hidden Damage They Cause

There is nothing new about termites. For centuries they are notorious as wood-killers. They destroy every species of wood they come across. Some termites even have the ability to escape from termite extermination – by hiding. Yes, these are subterranean termites with a cryptobiotic lifestyle. They are found hiding beneath the surface of wood, soil and other materials in their mud tunnels. It is due to this ability that they remain hidden and continue destroying wood.

Subterranean termites enter structures from the beneath the soil and forage in the wood. Their presence goes undetected most of the time until the damage becomes evident. Termite specialists spend a tremendous amount of time learning the source of these termites than destroying them. While much has been done about common termites found in homes and buildings, many specialists still seem ill prepared for the experience with subterranean types which is why they spread far beyond control.

In most cases, subterranean termites enter through soil along the foundation. The cracks in the slab, expansion joints, plumbing connections and utility conduits are their favorite point of entry. But in some states, where homes are made of bricks, these termites enter through gaps between the foundation and brick veneer or foam insulation that are cheaper in quality. In other cases, it is the deck or porche that invites these termites.

Subterranean termites originate from colonies they make while living in the soil. Sometimes, these termites originate from above the ground and cause the havoc. The latter type of infestation happens when a termite male and female bug makes a new nest away from its colony or when worker termites become isolated from the parent colony. Aerial infestation requires moisture year round to happen. That is why homes that have leaks or flat roofs become the breeding ground for these termites. When the moisture gets retained in the wall or the base, the termites survive long enough to destroy everything with no connection to the soil. This means, moisture trapped within walls can not only cause mold but increase termite activity as well.
Tubes of Mud – Mud tubes made from termites extend from the ground to the wood above. These tubes are the shelter for the foraging termites. Most mud tubes are about the width of a pencil. They become obvious when the tube extends above the concrete foundation and invade other surfaces. However, the length of the tube becomes hard to expose if they are running along cracks, beneath flooring or behind baseboards.

Swarming Termites – Termites that are winged and energetic acknowledge their presence when they swarm across the tubes to adjacent surfaces. When these termites swarm, they are often mistaken as flying ants. Both flying ants and winged termites look very much similar, except for three features – winged termites have beaded antennae, their fore and hind wings are of equal size and the body has a broad waist. Swarming termites are often attracted to lights and found around light fixtures, windows and doors where it is bright. A clear visible mark of winged termite infestation is the presence of large number of wings on floors, inside light fixtures and on windowsills.

Termite infestation can also be identified by finding blisters or dark areas on flooring and cabinets inside a house or a structure where wood is the main construction element. And when you gently tap the wood, the wood may sound hollow or the tapping material may cause the damaged wood to break as well. This is because, unlike other termites, these termites feed on spring wood leaving the exterior surface and grain behind.

Subterranean Termite Damaged Wood

Subterranean Termite Damaged Wood

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Aaron Cunningham