A subterranean termite infestation begins when warm temperatures and heavy rainfall trigger an established colony to send out a swarm of winged termites. Swarms consist of winged reproductive males and females.
Subterranean termite colonies are usually active for three to five years before winged reproductives appear.
The appearance of subterranean termites depends on their caste within the colony. Worker termites are cream-colored and less than 1cm long, while the soldier termites have powerful mandibles, brown heads and cream-colored bodies.
Rounding out the caste system are larger, reproductive termites that look like winged ants and are approximately an inch long.
Reproductive subterranean termites can often be distinguished from drywood termites by the single, dark vein that runs through their wings.
Because these pests can cause enormous amounts of damage in a short amount of time, it is important to keep an eye out for the signs of an infestation.
Subterranean termites can be detected by their cardboard-like excrement called “carton,” which is used to line their mud tubes.
The subterranean termites feed with the grain of the wood, eating only softwood. Look for their signature tunnels along the wood grain, with only layers of damaged hardwood left behind.
Signs of a later-stage infestation include airborne, subterranean termites that resemble flying ants, but have straight antennae and four wings that are all the same size. After mating, these swarmers shed their wings, leaving behind evidence of their activity.
Look for wings near baseboards and around the perimeter of your home to identify if you may have a colony.
If you do spot signs of an infestation, contact professional pest control for a complete termite inspection.
Termite treatment method includes bait system which is the most effective in today’s practice.