Subterranean Termites

Termite SwarmersSubterranean termites live in underground colonies that can contain up to 2 million members. They build distinctive “mud tubes” to gain access to food sources and to protect themselves. Particularly noticeable in the Spring are swarms of termites called Alates or Swarmers pictured here. Termite colonies are organized into castes depending on tasks — workers, soldiers and reproductives. The characteristics of a subterranean termite are dependent on the termite’s role in the colony. Cream-colored Worker subterranean termites are 1/8 to 3/8’s of an inch in length. Worker termites are the members of the colony who seek out cellulose (wood) in order to feed the rest of the members. Soldier subterranean termites are of a similar body length, but are distinguished by their powerful mandibles. Solider termites have cream-colored bodies and brown heads.Soldier termites defend the colony from attack from other insects such as ants. Reproductive subterranean termites or swarmer termites are the miniature kings and queens which will mate and start new colonies. These are usually the first sign a homeowner notices when termites invade a structure. CALL US IMMEDIATELY at 302-792-9300 if you suspect an infestation.

Habits

Subterranean termites live underground and build tunnels, referred to as mud tubes, to reach food sources. Like other termite species, they feed on products containing cellulose. Subterranean termites swarm in the spring — groups of reproductive termites go off to start new colonies.

Habitat

Subterranean termites need contact with the soil to survive and live underground. They can build tunnels through cracks in concrete.

Threats

Subterranean termites are by far the most destructive species in our area. The hard, saw-toothed jaws of termites work like shears and are able to bite off extremely small fragments of wood, one piece at a time. If you suspect infestation, contact us about subterranean termite treatment.

Prevention

The best method of subterranean termite control is to avoid water accumulation near your home’s foundation. Divert water away with properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks. Reduce humidity in crawl spaces with proper ventilation. Never bury wood scraps or waste lumber in the yard. Most importantly, eliminate wood contact with the soil. Maintain a one-inch gap between the soil and wood portions of the building.

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