Everything You Need to Know About Subterranean Termites

termite inspection

Subterranean termites are a common pest problem that can cause significant damage to your property if left untreated. These termites live in the soil and build their colonies underground, making them difficult to detect. In this blog post, we will provide you with some useful tips on how to detect and prevent subterranean termite infestations.

What are Subterranean Termites?

Subterranean termites are a type of termite species that live in underground colonies. They are one of the most destructive pests in the world when it comes to wooden structures and can cause extensive damage to homes, buildings, and other wooden structures.

Here are some key characteristics and facts about subterranean termites:

  • Habitat: As the name suggests, subterranean termites live underground in large colonies. They build elaborate tunnel systems made of mud, saliva, and feces. These tunnels connect the colony to food sources.

  • Diet: They primarily feed on wood and other cellulose-containing materials. This includes things like timber, paper, and cardboard.

  • Social Structure: Subterranean termites have a highly organized social structure. A colony typically includes different castes, such as workers, soldiers, and reproductives (including queens and kings).

    • Workers: These are the most numerous members of the colony and are responsible for gathering food, building and repairing the nest, and feeding other members.
    • Soldiers: They are responsible for defending the colony from predators, particularly ants.
    • Reproductives: The queen and king are the reproductive members, responsible for laying eggs and producing new members for the colony.
  • Reproduction: Termite colonies reproduce through swarming. Winged reproductives, known as alates, leave the colony in large numbers during specific times of the year to establish new colonies.

  • Damage: They are known for causing significant damage to wooden structures. Because they feed from the inside out, infestations can go undetected for a long time, making them particularly destructive.

  • Distribution: Subterranean termites are found throughout the world, but they are most prevalent in warm and humid climates. They are particularly common in places with tropical or subtropical environments.

  • Economic Impact: The economic impact of subterranean termites is significant. They cause billions of dollars in damage to structures and crops worldwide each year.

It's important to note that if you suspect you have a termite infestation, it's best to consult with a professional pest control service, as effectively dealing with termites often requires specialized knowledge and tools.

How to Detect and Prevent Subterranean Termite Infestations

1. Look for Signs of Infestation

The first step in detecting a subterranean termite infestation is to look for signs of their presence. These signs may include:

  • Mud tubes – these are narrow tubes made of soil that termites use to travel from their underground colonies to their food sources.
  • Swarmers – these are winged termites that emerge from their colonies to mate and start new colonies. If you see swarmers inside your home, it’s a sign that there is an infestation nearby.
  • Wood damage – subterranean termites feed on wood and can cause significant damage to structures if left unchecked.

2. Keep Your Property Dry

Subterranean termites thrive in moist environments, so keeping your property dry is an effective way to prevent infestations. Some tips to keep your property dry include:

  • Fixing any leaks in your plumbing or roof.
  • Ensuring that gutters are clean and free of debris.
  • Installing dehumidifiers in damp areas such as basements.

3. Use Termite-Resistant Materials

Using termite-resistant materials can help prevent subterranean termite infestations. Some materials that are resistant to termites include:

  • Treated lumber – lumber that has been treated with chemicals to repel termites.
  • Concrete – termites cannot feed on concrete.
  • Steel – termites cannot feed on steel.

4. Schedule Regular Inspections

Regular termite inspections can help detect an infestation early and prevent significant damage. A professional pest control company can perform a thorough inspection of your property and provide you with recommendations on how to prevent future infestations.

Need Help with Subterranean Termites in Central Arkansas?

Subterranean termites are a common pest problem that can cause significant damage if left untreated. Detecting and preventing infestations requires a combination of vigilance, maintenance, and professional pest control services. If you suspect that you have a subterranean termite infestation, don’t hesitate to contact our Little Rock pest control experts for prompt service.

Call McCauley Services now at (888) 733-9229.