SUBTERRANEAN TERMITE INFORMATION
Subterranean termites can cause the most damage of any termite species. These termites build distinctive tunnels, often referred to as “mud tubes,” to reach food sources and protect themselves from open air. They eat wood 24 hours a day, seven days a week, using their saw-toothed jaws to bite off small fragments of wood one piece at a time. Over time, subterranean termites can critically damage a building structure, sometimes causing a total collapse. Subterranean termites threaten homeowners across the country, as they’re found in every state in the U.S except Alaska.
Subterranean termites require moist environments. To satisfy this need, they usually nest in or near the soil and maintain some connection with the soil through tunnels in wood or through shelter tubes they construct. These shelter tubes are made of soil with bits of wood or even plasterboard (drywall). Much of the damage they cause occurs in foundation and structural support wood. Because of the moisture requirements of subterranean termites, they are often found in wood that has wood rot.
Subterranean termites cannot tell the difference between a dead tree and the lumber in a structure. They tunnel from their home in constant search for food. If they come across a structure while foraging, they will follow cracks and crevices into the structure. They then construct mud tubes to the wood. Typically access is gained through expansion joints, utility and plumbing openings or other openings in the foundation. Subterranean termites are small and need only 1/32-inch crack to enter a structure.
SUBTERRANEAN TERMITE TREATMENT OPTIONS
There are a variety of options when it comes to treating a drywood termite infestation. Determining which drywood termite treatment is most effective is predicated primarily on the extent of the infestation. Our recommended treatment options for drywood termites include the following:
SOIL INJECTION TREATMENT
This method can be effective for controlling subterranean termites but is not an immediate solution because the termites must first take the bait. Furthermore, a long term ongoing service is required to maintain the system. If this ongoing service is not kept current, the protection for the property is eliminated.
COMPLETE POST CONSTRUCTION TREATMENT
The most cost effective and long term treatment for existing infestations of subterranean termites is to create a complete barrier for a structure. This requires application directly to the soil in, under and around the structure. This treatment sets up a continuous barrier preventing subterranean termite’s access to the structure.
LOCAL POST CONSTRUCTION TREATMENT
This method, as above, is applied directly to the soil. However, the immediate area and a few feet on either side of the infestation are the only areas treated. This treatment can be effective on existing live infestations. This method does not provide long term or “whole structure” protection from subterranean termites.