Subterranean Termite

Subterranean Termite
Size: 1/2 - 5/8"
Color: Pale(worker) / Reddish brown head(soldier)
Infestation: Timber, Soil
Found: Worldwide
Questions & Answers : How to get rid of Subterranean termites (13)
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Subterranean Termite Control

Subterranean termites are the most common and also the most widely spread termite species in North America, including the United States. There are several representing groups that will all generalize to subterranean termites but will be differentiated really by the location of where they are infesting or just one or two unique behaviors. Because subterranean termites will not only ruin the aesthetics of a house or a wooden building, but also create severe structural damage to a house or building over time, it is extremely important to gain control of subterranean termites.

More Subterranean termite pictures are available on Pest Mall's blog. You can find pictures of Subterranean termite damage, treatment methods and general pictures of Subterranean termites.

Subterranean Termite Control Products

Liquid Termite Control Borate Wood Treament Termite Spray Termite Bait Products Termite Foam
Termite Liquid insecticides Borate Wood Treaments Termite Sprays Termite Bait Products Termite Foams
Termite Granules Termite Dust
Termite Granules Termite Dusts

Subterranean Termite Identification

There are several different groups in a subterranean termite colony that will work together to survive and forage for food. These groups include primary swarmers, secondary swarmers, worker termites, and soldier termites. They slightly vary in physical appearance and also have a role in the colony in order for the colony to mature and develop.

Primary and secondary swarming subterranean termites are also known as the reproductive termites because they are in charge of reproducing the offspring. Primary swarmers are black in color or a pale yellowish brown color. The secondary swarmers are almost white in color but have a more creamy appearance. Although the primary swarmers possess wings, the secondary swarmers are generally wingless or posses very short wings. The wings of the primary swarmers are a pale or a brownish color and have only a few visible veins. Workers and soldier subterranean termites make up most of the subterranean termite colony. They are creamy white in color and do not possess wings like the swarming termites do. They range in size from ΒΌ of an inch to 3/8 inch long. The only major difference between the two is that soldier termites have a head that is larger than the pronotum. Their heads are also a pale brown color. Furthermore, soldier termites have prominent mandibles that protrude out the front of their heads.

Subterranean Termite Behavior

Many homeowners may be alarmed when they notice that there are winged swarming termites that come up from the ground that is close to their homes. However, even though this may not mean that you have a mature infestation that has invaded their house, finding a swarmer might be a red flag to begin looking into getting an inspection completed for subterranean termites. This is because it takes some time for subterranean termites to begin infesting wood and will spend time to establish their colony below the ground first. They live underground in huge colonies and will forage and breed underground as well. This is under normal circumstances and when they have established themselves, they may begin to move up the structure if there is moisture source that is available. They will begin to create mud tunnels to conserve moisture which can completely ruin the aesthetics of the house. Colony sizes are huge and under optimal circumstances, colonies can get over 7 million termites large.

Subterranean Termite Damage

In order to survive, subterranean termites must feed on wood and other cellulose materials. They are able to travel up to 100 yards to start establishing a colony near an adequate food source. Also, unlike drywood or dampwood termites, subterranean termites need consistent moisture source in their wood and also require ground contact because they will build their nests underground. The moisture source is provided by leaks, plumbing leaks, shower leaks, and etc.

Subterranean termites are able to cause the most extensive damage to wood and are considered the most destructive wood pest in the United States. The damage can be seen by the infested wood appearing layered with soil deposits inside the galleries and tunnels. Also, when the subterranean termite colonies are more established, they will create aerial nests and build mud tunnels that run up the structure to provide a damp space or to deposit water sources in the mud. These types of damages can ruin the aesthetics of a building, cause structural damage, and also create damages that are almost irreversible and costly to manage.

How to Get Rid of Subterranean Termites

The first and most important part of subterranean termite control is to inspect and identify the termite species. There are several signs of infestation that people can use to identify the subterranean termite infestation. These include swarming termites, shed wings, mud tunnels, and damaged wood that has been infested.

  • Swarming termites are maybe the first red flag of a subterranean infestation. There are signs of swarmers around lights and also around window frames, window sills, and door frames.
  • Shed wings can be found on top of window sills. They may also be found on cobwebs outdoors and indoors.
  • Mud Tunnels are signs that subterranean termites are moving up the structure and will appear in a vertical shape that runs up the interior and exterior walls of the foundation.
  • Damaged wood is a sign of an established colony. They have begun to feed and damage the wood. Tunnels with soil inside will follow the grain of the wood.

After acknowledging that it is a subterranean termite infestation that has invaded your home or structure, there are several steps to eliminate the termites. This will involve both mechanical and chemical control. Mechanical control consists of altering the surrounding environment so that infestations are discouraged. This will mean maintaining the nearby trees, vines and other cellulose materials from touching the building. Also, wood pieces like fire wood and other lumber should be not stacked and piled near the building as well. Moreover, because subterranean termites require a moisture source, make alterations around the home that will eliminate the moisture from the wood. By installing crawl space vents, gutters, splash blocks, and etc, homeowners can eliminate possible moisture problems that can help discourage subterranean termites from infesting a building.

Chemical treatment is a method of control that is necessary to eliminate subterranean termites. Many homeowners and professionals will use a monitoring and baiting system to protect the house before a termite colony is established. By installing monitoring stations underground, they can detect any infestations before they begin to forage on the wood for food. Once the monitoring blocks detect a subterranean termite colony, they can be replaced with chemical bait cartridges that will kill the termites that forage on it. Also, there is a trench treatment control method that is done either without bait stations or in conjunction with the bait stations. An appropriately labeled termiticide is injected into the ground and the termiticide then creates a barrier under the structure. Many people choose to use non-repellent termiticides so that the subterranean termites can go about their daily routines without detecting the poison.

Read all product labels before any pesticides are applied. If you have questions on a termite control program for your house or structure, feel free to talk to a Pest Mall representative at 1-800-788-4142.

Do You Have a Question about this Product? Ask Our Experts!

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Q. What to use on rafters if suspected of having termites
I was replacing my rotted out porch colums and noticed termites had eaten up the 4x4 post. I am concerned that they might have gone all the way up the 4x4 to the roof rafters (the 4x4's were screwed to the top plate and rafters). What do you recomend to treat for possible infestation in rafters and sheathing? I was thinking of spraying boracare on entire porch roof/ceiling (12x26ft) since the rafters and sheathing are exposed. Any ideas?
A.   Boracare is a great product to use on bare wood. Once it fuses with the wood, you will have an indefinite residual time. However, the wood does have to be bare. If this is a drywood termite infestation, it may be a isolated infestation that can potentially grow large quickly. If you have an subterranean termite infestation, you definitely need to treat the isolated infestation on the post, but also do a ground treatment so that you can target the colony and that can be done with Termidor or you can use termite bait stations. If you have any questions about termite control, feel free to give us a call at 1-800-788-4142.
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Q. subterranean termites
what products can i buy without a lisence in southern california for suterranean termites??

Thank you for contacting us with your question. For subterranean termites you may use termiticides such as Dominion or Termidor.

If you are trying to cover a large area I would recommend the use of Dominion because it will save you a lot more money.

Both termiticides are a non repellent termiticide so the termites we not be able to sence the insecticide and carry the poison back to its colony eventually eliminating the whole colony. Both of these termiticides are also registered products in the state of California so you do not need a license in order to purchase these chemicals from us.

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Q. We have white small termites in the wooden bottom side of our front door, discovered 2days ago.
We removed the 1/4round trim on the bottom, scraped away the saw dust and other black sand type stuff. We brushed under the wood that's attached to the tile floor with a Mexican termite solution. Having done that we found three creamy white termites, a couple of pinky ants. The front door is pine and dry. The location is in Baja peninsula, we live in Lapaz. Help, we need to control them as we leave for Canada in 8 weeks mad the house is vacant for 6 months. Thank so much, eager to hear from you.
A.   For spot treatment on concentrated areas of infestation, Premise is a great product. You can also consider using Boracare. Depending on the species though, you may have to do ground treatment around the entire perimeter of your house. This will require a liquid termiticide that is diluted and poured into the ground at 4 gallons every 10 feet. Unfortunately though, we will not be able to ship termiticides internationally because of the chemical content.
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Q. Subterranean termites under bluestone patio
I have termite swarms coming from my patio. I live in Long Island New York. can I treat this myself?
A.   Unfortunately, one of the only termiticides that we carry that is registered in the state is Boracare. To treat with Boracare, the wood must be bare so that the liquid can soak through the wood. All other termiticides that we carry are not registered in the state of New York.
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Q. I have subterranean termites. The structure was built circa 1870. There is significant damage to floor joists.
A.   - For spot treatment it is best recommended to use a foam type such as Premise Foam in these areas. the Premise is a residual and will 2- 3 mos and will need to be retreated if you still see activity but most times it will kill all the ones in the area. It will come with a tip as well that will be able to reach the hard to reach narrow areas.
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Q. flying termites
I had a swarm of flying termites yesterday that left the floor of a room covered with dead insects. What product is best for me?
A.   You may want to consider doing spot treatment in areas of infestation with a product called Premise Foam. For outdoor control, Termidor is extremely effective and powerful.

It is a concentrate that you must dilute with water before you use.

You can inject this into the ground for subterranean termites and also use this as a spray or spot treatment.
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Q. sub-terranean termites Killer
which product is the best for sub-terranean termites?
A.   If you are looking to trench around your home, Termidor is a trusted and very popular product. Otherwise, you can bait around your home with any of our termite baiting kits. For optimal control, doing both a trench and bait system is the best. Please check to see if any of these products are registered in your state before purchase.
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Q. termites and carpenter ants
What I wanted to know is that if you have a basement can you treat your floor joist also. Part of my basement is a crawl space, so if I treat the outside only would that be sufficient,and I saw in the spring time some I believe they were swarmers.They were kind of small with wings come from out of my attic.Would just treating the outside get rid of those also.Also another property I have is on a slab.Would treating just the perimeter be sufficient.Also the swarmers were in the attic.
A.   Termidor is a non repellent, so it is meant for the termites to be able to walk through.

It is also a delay kill, so it gives the termites that have been exposed to the Termidor time to bring it back to the colony and expose the whole colony to it. This way, it will knock out the whole colony and get rid of the termites.

That is why it is safe to do just a perimeter treatment.
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Q. what products can i buy in nebraska without a lisence?
I discovered termites in a very large maple tree out back and looks like now they have reached the garage. They are subterranean termites, what can I do my self to get rid of them?
A.   Taurus SC can be used in Nebraska. It is a generic brand of Termidor but contains the same active ingredient. Both are designed for termite control.
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Q. I Have Termite..
A.   We know that there are several pests that show signs of infestation using mud. However, subterranean termites usually make mud tubes up a wall but don't plug holes in a wall with mud. So you may not have a termite infestation. It's difficult to distinguish what pest you may have. Also, Dominion is effective for such pests like carpenter ants and subterranean termites as well as some lawn pests. If in case you do not have one of these pests that are infesting this area, Dominion may not be effective at all. It's best to identify the pest the best way you can and most likely, that will involve a professional inspection. You can call us at 1-800-788-4142 after you have identified the pest so that we can better assist you.
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