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Subterranean Termites: Denizens of the Underworld

by | Feb 10, 2021 | 0 comments

Subterranean termites can be found throughout the United States.  In California, the Western Subterranean termite, feasts on dead wood, tree stumps and fallen trees that are in direct contact with soil, in forested areas, landscapes or the structural lumber of homes, apartment buildings, offices and other types of wood constructed structures.
These termites live and travel underground (up to 20 feet deep), moving into areas that can support their need for moisture and their appetite for all things wood.  Using their scissor-like jaws, they eat wood 24 hours a day, seven day a week, year in and year out.
Subterranean termites make their way into structures through cracks in foundations or anywhere there is wood in contact with soil. This species of termite, constructs sheltered runways out of moist soil called  “mud tubes”that are about the diameter of a pencil.   These tubes can climb up the side of concrete walls, bricks or cinderblocks to reach a source of cellulose.  Most often they are seen extending up into a structure from soil at foundation areas.  In these tubes they move from the soil to the structure without exposing themselves to the sun, or any other enemy.   Mud tubes are the number one sign of a subterranean  termite infestation.  The presence of discarded wings, most often during the summer, is another sign.  Wings are left behind by mating termites and portend the establishment of a new colony.

The Westetermites-eating-tree-2019-julyrn Subterranean species is known to cause more damage than their cousins the Drywood termites. If they go undetected, they’ll destroy wood structures, from basements to attics, even infesting and
termite damage rotten wood eat nest destroy
eating wooden furniture. Their modus-operandi:  eat through the center of susceptible wood members, hollowing them out, leaving only a thin layer of outside wood or even just the paint.

If conditions are right, subsidiary nests (connected to a main colony by tunnels) can develop inside wall voids or other building cavities.  Moisture from leaky plumbing, broken roofing or flooding, can satisfy their need for moisture and make it a perfect living environment.  When they have access to moisture, a safe place to hang out and lots of food close by, they’re in termite heaven!
In order to effectively, exterminate termites, proper identification is essential along with a long term strategy to keep them under control.  Subterranean termites attack from underground, therefor, barrier treatments, around the foundations of structures, with an effective, state approved, termiticide is essential. termiteinspectfoundation575x380-2 Professional termite control companies, identify the termite species during a stainspection-with-magnifying-glasste- mandated “termite inspection.                   Termite inspectors, will substantiate the extent of infestation, then recommend the proper course of treatment.  In Post-construction situations, the traditional method of treatment, consists of drilling holes through slabs and injecting insecticides under the foundation (rodding) and by drenching trenches, dug along building foundations, with a termiticide.  termitesubtreatment575x380 Liquid termiticides provide a chemical barrier that kills termites. It also allows individuals that have come in contact with it, to pass it along to others through body contact and grooming, eventually decimating a whole colony.
If you suspect you have termites, it’s important to get your suspicions confirmed professionally and quickly to minimize damage.
Call Corky’s Pest Control, 1-800-901-1102, and start getting rid of subterranean termites today! You can also ask questions or place an order online. We’ll make it easy for you.


Protect your home, after a termite treatment, from future termite infestations, with Corky’sTermite Protection Plan.  It’s a year round service that provides detection of and treatments for termite infestations by licensed professionals. termite protection planStop termites before they start damageing  your home again!   Corky”s Termite Protection Plan includes our famous “Corkys Ultimate Pest Control Service” that gets rid of Ants and Spiders and control ticks, whiteflys/aphids and Mosquitoes on your property too!


TermiteTip:  Basic Subterranean Termite Preventionrunning-termites

  • Inspect for termites regularly.  Watch for mud tubes, discarded wings and frass (termite poop)!
  • Eliminate wood to soil contact.
  • Seal cracks and holes in foundations and roofs.
  • Keep vegetation away from foundations and grade soil away from a structure to eliminate moisture accumulation.
  • Repair faulty plumbing, fix leaky roofs and eaves, maintain air conditioning unites.
  • Put a physical barrier (thick plastic sheeting) over soil in crawl spaces and under porches.


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