Termites/Subterranean Termites

Color: Creamy white to dark brown/black
Legs: 6
Shape: Oval, Long, Narrow
Size: about 1/8 inch long

In Southern Idaho, the one main species of termites we have is the Subterranean Termite. These pests are actually beneficial ecologically in the fact that they break down detritus and add nutrients to the soil. However, that same feeding manner that is helpful to the ecosystem can cause severe damage to homes. Termites feed primarily on wood; they are able to compromise the strength and safety of an infested structure. Sometimes, if untreated, termite damage can cause structures to be deemed unlivable, until expensive repairs are completed. If subterranean termites find their way into your home or building, it is critical that the termites are properly eliminated as soon as possible, as the structural damage they can cause on a building can be shocking if left untreated.

Subterranean termites are soil-dwelling, social insects, and their food source is the cellulose in wood. This can be the wood in a tree stump or the wood inside your home. They live in colonies underground from which they build tunnels in search of food; the mud tunnels (referred to as mud tubes) are created from saliva, mud (of course) and feces. These tunnels are located near the foundation of infested homes/structures. Sometimes when moisture levels are high enough, the colony is well established and the area is secluded enough, they may have a nest above ground. Tiny mud tubes are an indication you may be dealing with termites.

Tips to avoid subterranean termites:

Avoid letting water collect and accumulate near the home’s foundation.
Redirect water away with properly working downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.
Reduce humidity in crawl spaces with proper ventilation.
Don’t bury wood waste or leave scraps of lumber in the yard.

Most importantly, remove wood contact with the soil/dirt. Always maintain a one-inch space between the soil and wood portions of the building.

Subterranean termites are by far the most destructive termite species. Their hard, saw-toothed jaws are able to bite off extremely small fragments of wood, one piece at at time. Over time this can cause a building to collaspe entirely, leading the homeowner to financial distress.

If you suspect a termite infestation, contact a profession about proper treatment options!

Give us a call (208)4754440