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What are subterranean termites?

Subterranean termites are a pest termite species that will infest the home and consume the wood of the building. They get their name from how they build their colonies – underground. Other termite species will build their colonies inside of the wood that they consume, and this limits the size of their colony and the speed at which they can consume wood.

How do subterranean termite infestations start?

Subterranean termite colonies will send out scouting workers, which will look for pieces of wood on the surface or close to the surface. Once a scout finds wood, it will return to the colony and leave a pheromone trail behind it, which will let other workers know that there is a food source at the end of that tunnel. The workers will then follow this trail and reinforce it with pheromones of their own, until the trail is so strong that it draws hundreds or even thousands of workers.

What can you do to prevent subterranean termite infestations?

There are not a lot of things that you can do personally to prevent a subterranean termite infestation, outside of making sure that there are no moisture issues in the home and that you keep any dead wood, such as firewood, away from the home, protected from the elements, and out of contact with the ground. However, a pro will be able to implement measures such as a chemical barrier, which will create a poisonous wall in the ground that will kill termites as soon as they come into contact with it.

How are these infestations controlled?

Subterranean termite infestations are controlled either with a chemical barrier or a baiting system. The chemical barrier is the most used method, because it will stop an infestation right away, and it will then offer protection from reinfestation for up to 8 years. The main problem with this method however is that it will not destroy the colony itself, and for this you will need a baiting system. A baiting system is good when you need to protect your entire property and not just the home, but it has the disadvantage that it can take up to a few months to kill a colony. As such, these two methods are often used together to provide full and rapid protection across your property. If you have any other questions, or if you have a termite infestation that needs to be removed, contact us today.