How to Get Rid of Subterranean Termites


Subterranean TermitesSubterranean Termites are one of the common termite species found all over California. They generally infest on dry or dead wood like stumps or fallen trees in the back yard, garden, landscape, structural lumber or forest kind of areas. Usually, they are of three types:

  • Reticulitermes
  • Heterotermes
  • Coptotermes

Apart from these, you can also find other types that are restricted to desert areas of the state. Reticulitermes are the most commonly found subterranean termites, and are commonly found in California.

You can find them invading sand dunes, upper elevation areas of high mountain ranges and desert areas.

The size of these species is smaller than that of drywood or dampwood termites but their colonies grow faster and the size usually ranges from hundreds to thousands of individuals.

The reproductive winged termites have wings that has color ranging from dark brown to brownish-black. Soldiers are wingless, long, caramel colored bodies, amber colored heads and have no eyes.

Worker termites are slightly smaller in size when compared to the reproductive or the soldier termites and appear similar to that of soldier termites.

How to identify the signs of termite infestation?

If you carefully observe your surroundings, you can surely identify by looking at the signs that warn you about termite infestation. Some of them are as mentioned below:

  • If you find cracked or bubbling paint on doors or walls
  • If the wood sounds hollow when you tap it
  • Termite droppings near the cracked or aerated paint or the ground
  • If the walls and wooden beams contain mud tubes
  • If you find swarm of winged insects near your surroundings like inside and outside your home
  • If there are any discarded wings of the swarmers in the affected area

How to treat termite infestation?

Being cautious to avoid any pest infestation is always good. If you already experience infestation then the treatments include:

  1. Bait and monitoring system through liquid application

In this method, monitoring stations are placed at the entry points of the termite colonies. If the termite infestation is detected, the stations are replaced with baits that are consumed and shared by the fellow termites.

This controls the colony strength effectively and minimizes the existence in that area.

  1. Using either repellents or non-repellents through liquid application

Repellents work to irritate termites and hence force the colony to move away from it. Non-repellent products are not easily identified by the termites.

Hence they share it with their fellow mates in the nest and this results in controlling the colony strength.

Subterranean termites versus drywood termites

Subterranean Termites Drywood Termites
Subterranean termites generally construct their homes in the soil. They build intricate tunnel systems inside the mud and use them as a path to access the sources of their food. On the other hand, dry wood termites reside within wood, which is the source of their food. They infest in furniture and walls.
The reproductive winged ones when found dead, will still have wings attached to their bodies. The reproductive winged ones when found dead, will often get their wings separated from their bodies.
Soldiers have heads that are rectangular in shape. Soldiers have round shaped heads.
Workers consume only spring wood. Workers consume both spring and hard wood.
The fecal pellets are generally moist. The fecal pellets are dry and hard.


The main infesting areas of termites include:


Subterranean termites in attic exist due to moisture. They slowly build their colonies and create mud tubes as tunnels to reach their sources of food.


Subterranean termites after rain are found to be building lot of mud tunnels underground in the lawn or garden. The tunnels are made of versatile building material.


Termites also attack furniture to consume the cellulose. The colony would come to know about the furniture when it touches the soil.


In conclusion, one should remember that termites are the most destructive pests that creates a huge damage in and around your home.

Hence take precautionary steps to avoid them. If you already suffer the infestation, take help of professionals to treat them so that their colony strength is completely ruined.