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What are Subterranean Termites?

In the wild, termites positively impact their environments by contributing to the breakdown of wood remains and helping to facilitate soil quality. However, many of the same qualities that may productively support a forest, for example, may lead to damage in homes and businesses, depending on the particular type of termite involved. Subterranean termites are one of the three major species of termites, in addition to dampwood and drywood termites, that do not limit their work to uninhabited spaces, such as forests, and most negatively impact homes and other buildings.

What are Subterranean Termites?

From desert environments to some of the highest elevations in a particular area, subterranean termites thrive in a variety of locations and are infamous for causing the maximum damage of any termite species. There are many different types of termites within this category; in the Northeast, the Eastern subterranean termite and the Dark Southeastern subterranean termite are the most prevalent and destructive.

Appearance: These pests may look like white or cream colored ants, while others of the same colony may appear in a very light to darker brown and with or without wings. Shade and appearance vary based on purpose within the colony. With the addition of wings, these termites are sometimes confused with flying ant types. In the spring, it is more likely to see a swarm of these creatures; otherwise, it is their damage that typically indicates their presence.

Environmental preferences: Subterranean termites thrive in moist habitats with warmer temperatures and a nearby heat source. The wood that they seem to be particularly fond of includes pine, Douglas fir, and plywood, but these specific termites need to be close to the soil to survive. As a result, they usually build nests underground or on moist soil.


The best way to avoid dealing with termites is to employ preventative measures. As a bonus, all of these tactics also provide general benefits to your home, such as the reinforcements of seals around the home and the removal of unwanted or unnecessary clutter from your home. Although it may seem easy enough to finally do that basement or attic clean out, contacting our Eliminate ‘Em professionals will better enable you to be vigilant in keeping all pests, including subterranean termites, out of your home by problem-solving issues that you may not have considered. For subterranean termite prevention, here are two preventative strategies:

  • Exclusion tactics: For this long-term measure, Eliminate ‘Em professionals examine your home from the ground up to seal up any cracks, holes, or other openings that not only termites but also other pests, like rats or squirrels, may use to try to enter your structure. This service may also include prior pest clean up or insulation solutions.
  • Basement cleanouts: Basement spaces are often moist, cluttered, and reduced in traffic from other parts of a building. So, new holes or cracks are less likely to be identified, and unexpected pests and wildlife may take advantage of these entry points, especially in colder months. To prevent this issue, the Eliminate ‘Em team will do a full cleaning and sanitizing of the space, block any openings, and make recommendations about mitigating potentially attractive dampness or smells from the space.

Since subterranean termites reside closer to soil and foundations, the two strategies above may be most helpful in preventing their arrival. However, Eliminate ‘Em offers a third preventative measure, the attic restoration, that can further identify or deter any potential infestation of termites or other pests, like rodents or even birds!

How to Identify a Subterranean Termite Problem?

Because of the subterranean termites’ proximity to the ground, they are a most significant threat to your foundation, which can lead to significant structural damage throughout the entire home. Be vigilant in looking for the following danger signs to avoid long-term termite damage:

  • Wings: You might save some that you find if you are noticing an uptick in their presence for a review by an Eliminate ‘Em exterminator specialist; they will be able to confirm the insect to which they might belong and corresponding measures that may need to be taken.
  • Mud tunnels: These tubes in your yard may be a shade of brown or orange; they may also look like furrows in wood or walls.
  • Weaknesses or hollowness in walls
  • Change in smell, similar to mold or mildew

If you can visually identify a termite, the problem may be well-established. Contact Eliminate ‘Em now for immediate service!


There are many different approaches to addressing a termite issue; your Eliminate ‘Em team will review them with you to help you understand why the proposed solution addresses your concerns, your home, and your family. In addition to an owner’s proactive measures, like the application of prevention strategies and calling as soon as a problem is suspected, pest control professionals often employ these three frequently used measures for addressing termite encroachment:

  • Baiting: Traps are installed at fixed intervals around perimeter and in suspect areas. Depending on the size of the colony, this approach engages ongoing surveillance. Experienced exterminators add traps as needed to ensure complete removal.
  • Liquid barrier: Especially for instances of greater subterranean termite presence and damage, this solution is often more reliable and long term in its application. Deterrent is infused deep into the ground all around the building (not just at intervals) to provide a barrier; any extant termites will be dispatched, and any new pests will be thwarted from intruding into your home or business.
  • Tent: In the most severe cases, a tent may be used over the entire home. The products dispersed in the tent will remove pests within approximately 3 days. During the time of this process all living beings, including pets and plants, will need to be removed from the premises.

Thinking about subterranean termites and the potential damage that they can cause can be overwhelming. After all, no one wants to live in continuous fear of their negative impact or mistake every flying ant or speck of mud for a sign of termite invasion. From preventative measures to varied treatments that will best address the needs of your particular situation, the professional and reliable Eliminate ‘Em pest control and exterminator teams are ready to free you and your home or business from this unforeseen burden. Call us today at (866) 906-9070 or contact us via this form.