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Subterranean Termite Identification & Prevention

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What are subterranean termites?

Termites are social insects classified in the infraorder Isoptera. Like ants, termites live in colonies with a queen that takes care of all the reproductive needs of the nest. A queen can live up to fifty years and spends most of her life doing nothing but laying eggs. All the other termites’ lives revolve around taking care of her.

You have two basic types of termites — drywood and subterranean. Drywood termites can nest directly in dry wood and do not need contact with soil. Subterranean termites do need soil and moisture to survive, but don’t let that fool you – they can still infest your home.

Are subterranean termites dangerous?

Subterranean termites are absolutely dangerous. Like all termites, they eat wood, meaning they spend all day every day chowing down on whatever part of your home’s wooden structures they can, including decking, railing, stairs, and even structural framing! Termites can also colonize (and damage) your home for months or even years before you realize there’s a problem because they don’t need to forage for food. All this means termites might not be a danger to your health, but they’re a big danger to your wallet.

Why do I have a subterranean termite problem?

There are a few ways you might get subterranean termites, and most of them have to do with wood on your house. It doesn’t have to be a giant rotting log right on your porch, either. Little things you might not even think about can put you at risk, such as firewood stacked against your house or mulch pushed right up against your foundation. If you have rotted wood decking or railing, it could attract termites. Even bushes or shrubs rubbing up against your siding could potentially cause an issue.

Where will I find subterranean termites?

Unlike many other pests, you will rarely see subterranean termites around your home. They build mud tubes around your home’s exterior so they can crawl directly into the wood they infest from underground. That means you’ll need to look for signs of termites instead. Signs include:

  • Winged termites flying around
  • Piles of shed wings on the ground or in windowsills
  • Damage like warped walls or sagging ceilings
  • Windows and doors that don’t fit
  • Mud tubes around your home’s exterior

How do I get rid of subterranean termites?

If you see signs of termites, it is a real emergency – one you can’t afford to waste time on with ineffective solutions like baits or sprays. You’ll need the help of professional termite control in Ogden, like the kind we offer here at Mountain West Pest Control. We’ve got the technology and expertise to make sure all the termites in your home are booted out the door. Reach out to us today to learn more about our termite control solutions in Ogden, UT.

How can I prevent subterranean termites in the future?

There are lots of things you can do to make your home harder for subterranean termites to infest:

  • Seal cracks and holes in your foundation.
  • Remove any rotted or water-damaged wooden components from your home.
  • Never store firewood against your home – keep it at least 20 feet away.
  • Trim back trees and shrub branches and don’t let them touch your house. 
  • Keep mulch at least six inches from your foundation.