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What to Know About Subterranean Termites & Controlling Them?

What to Know About Subterranean Termites & Controlling Them?

Posted by Muzi On 24 Jul, 2022

Have you heard the saying, keep your friends close but your enemies closer? We got a new saying to go by, don't keep your enemies close but make sure you properly know your enemies.

Here we are referring to one of the most common enemies to humans - Termites! Yes, it is essential you know everything you need to know about them and this article will tell you just that.

Subterranean Termites

Among all other species, subterranean termites are considered the worst. Why so? Because despite the size of these tiny creatures, they are known to wreak a lot of damage. So much so, that they could even cause buildings to collapse after munching on the structure for a long time. They basically wreck havoc everywhere they go, whether they are within business spaces or at home.

Termites mean bad news and an infestation would mean a series of nightmares. To spare yourself from this unfortunate situation. It is essential that you be able to spot any signs of an infestation. The earlier you catch them, the lesser damage you would have to face.

Signs of an Infestation

The interiors of your home and the exterior of your home are both exposed and can be an easy target for a subterranean termite infestation. There are a few obvious signs that would help you identify an active subterranean pest problem, they are -

Termite Infestation

  • Mud Tubes:

    They appear like small brown tunnels on the exterior or interior walls. Mud tubes are made by termites and from soil and wood to prevent them from drying out while travelling from their nest to their food sources.

  • Wood Damage:

    Do your wooden items seem soft and sound hollow when tapped on? Or are they blistering/darkening? Is the paint bubbling or seems uneven? If you answered 'Yes' for any of these, you could be dealing with an active infestation.

  • Feces and Discarded Wings:

    If you have noticed a pile of something which happens to look like sawdust near your wooden furniture/items even though you have no ongoing construction at home, it could be an infestation. Finding discarded wings on the window sills or doors also indicates a problem.

How Subterranean Termites Enter Your Property?

  • Subterranean Colonies:

    There can be around 1,000,000 workers in a single colony. Therefore, a colony is a massive threat to business owners and homeowners. Since the soil underground is damp, dark, and moist, they prefer nesting underground. Their bodies tend to dry out if they are exposed to air which is why staying hidden and in moist areas is vital for their survival.

  • Mud Tubes:

    They build mud tubes to connect their feeding ground aka your home to their colonies underground so that they may travel back and forth easily without being exposed to air. You can find these tunnels near your window sills, around window and door frames, below the floor and poaches, and along the foundation.

  • Wood-to-ground Contact:

    They are able to enter your home easily when the wood in your house comes directly in contact with the soil. For instance, your wooden porch, supports, decks, etc.

  • Others:

    If there is even a slight crack or entry point that is small enough for one worker to fit through, then you are bound to face an infestation sooner or later as these pesky pests are known for being stubborn and strong willed.

Causes of an Infestations

Termite Protection Method

  • Outside of the House:

    Although an infestation begins outside the house, it won't take long before they make their way inside. These pests are attracted to moisture and wood. Therefore, if you have any wooden items like firewood, outdoor furniture, mulch, etc., lying around the premises, it would attract termites.

  • Inside of the House:

    If you have any leakages in your house or if it isn't well ventilated, it would have high moisture levels which could attract subterranean termites, especially if the moisture is found within your wooden items, furniture, and structure.

  • Control Options:

    The best way to control the problem is to get your house inspected by professionals and allow them to use their baiting systems and insecticide. Although over-the-counter insecticides and baits are available, it would be best to leave it to the experts and not play around with chemicals.

    Termite control requires much more time, effort and money before you start seeing results as compared to other insects and pests. Additionally, you would also be paying extra to fix the damage they have already caused. This is essentially why prevention is vital.

How to Prevent an Infestation?

  • Eliminate any mulch, debris, shrubs, wood or fallen trees that are at close proximity with the foundation of your home and don't forget to grind the roots and stump.
  • Ensure there is no buildup of moisture by fixing any leakages in your home and maintaining your drainage system.
  • Try as hard as you can to limit wood-to-ground contact and ensure that there are no cracks in the wall that gives them entry to your house.
  • Store your firewood far away from your property and ensure you thoroughly inspect any new or second hand wooden furniture that you bring home for any signs of pest activity.
  • Ensure to treat your wooden furniture that might have been infested in the past and to constantly check on them time and again to ensure there is no recurrence.
  • Install baiting systems from a professional pest control company and sign up for yearly maintenance and inspections to ensure you have constant protection against these pests.

In conclusion, subterranean termites are a nuisance and if left unattended, they could wreck a lot of damage internally, externally, financially and mentally. Therefore, it is vital for you to know your enemy and stay protected against them.

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