While all termites have
long narrow bodies, they vary
greatly in appearance depending on the termite’s role in the colony.
Subterranean termite workers are pale cream-colored and 1/8-inch long;
have elongated heads with pincer-like mandibles; and primary
(commonly called “swarmers” and the termites most often seen in the
dark brown or black and 1 inch long, with large whitish
Subterranean termites live
underground and build
protective mud tunnels above ground to search for food. They will die
exposed to open air for prolonged periods. Attracted to moisture
leaky hoses, etc.), they will enter a building anywhere there is direct
structure contact. Colonies contain up to 2 million members, organized
castes depending on tasks—workers, soldiers and reproductives.
termites swarm in the spring, when groups of reproductive termites go
start new colonies.
termite species, they feed on products
containing cellulose. Unlike other wood-destroying insects, termites
eat the wood.
Subterranean termites are by far the
most destructive species. They can collapse a building entirely,
financial ruin for the owner. To help prevent termite infestations,
wood contact with soil. Make sure at least four inches of foundation
seen all around the home. Avoid water accumulation near your home’s
Divert water away with properly functioning gutters, downspouts and
blocks. Fix all roof and plumbing leaks as soon as
for controlling existing infestations include placing a pesticide
the soil to prevent access to wood structures, above-ground bait
fumigating the entire structure.