About Subterranean Termites

    • Most destructive termite in all of California
        Can cause severe damage in a home in as little as a couple of years
    • Subterranean termites are social insects
    • Subterranean termites nest about four feet under the surface of the soil but attack structures by building mud tubes that connect their nest to wood in structures
        Mud tubes can extend 50-60 feet to reach wood in a structure
    • They travel into your home for about 48 hours at a time
    • They consume all wood material they come in contact with such as studs, support beams, floor joists, ceiling joists, cardboard, and paper
    • Subterranean termites easily attack wood that has contact with the ground
    • Subterranean termites thrive in areas with excessive moisture
    • Colonies can cover up to 100 yards and can number in the millions
    • Subterranean termites remain hidden but can be detected by presence of winged reproductives, mud tubes, and damage
    • It is estimated that more than one in five homes have been or will be attacked at some time by subterranean termites

Signs of a Subterranean Termite Infestation

Mud Tubes

Mud tubes

    • Subterranean termites use fecal pellets as well as debris, sand, and/or soil to make a clay-like substance to construct and form their mud tubes
    • Earthern shelter tubes to protect from low humidity
    • Usually ¼ inch to one inch wide
    • Mud tubes can be found inside and outside of foundation, under the house if there is a crawlspace, or can be seen coming out of the ceiling, walls, and floor
Subterranean Swarmers

Subterranean Termite Swarmer

    • Reproductive
    • During the daylight and in the spring time, the swarmers emerge from the colony in high numbers
        Males and females will form new colonies
    • The wings will break off shortly after a swarm occurs
        This will happen usually near doors and windows where there has been light
Termite Wings


    • After the wings are off, they land on a new piece of wood and the male and female will start a new colony
    • If you find a large pile of wings, this may mean that the swarmers were successful at infesting a new piece of wood
Termite Damage

Subterranean Termite Damage

    • Subterranean termites will only eat with the grain of the wood causing the wood to look like pages in a book
    • The damage will be most severe in areas with a high concentration of moisture
    • Subterranean termites can go up many stairs and have been found in commercial buildings to get to the tenth floor
    • Damage is usually not noticed because exterior surface usually must be removed to see the damage
    • Galleries can be detected by tapping wood to listen for hollowness