The Subterranean Termites are tiny ant like insects which survive in moisture areas and feed on the wood cellulose. Though it is very small and has a harmless appearance, these pests can destroy the wooden structures of your home that are in contact with the soil.
There are 3 categories of Subterranean Termites
1. The Swarmers: These are dark-brown to black in colour, and grow up to ¼ - ½ inch in length with two sets of wings.
2. The Workers: They don’t have wings, are around ¼ inch or less in length and have a cream shade.
3. The Soldiers: These too are without any wings; it has big jaws and are creamy-white in appearance with a brownish head.
There is a main queen in every colony. The queen lays tens of thousands of eggs in its lifetime. The other termites in the colony are also capable of reproducing.
The Subterranean Termites nest
The subterranean termites construct their nests usually below the surface. But if there is sufficient moisture on the surface, these termites will build the nest on the surface.
The subterranean termites feed on the soft wood and fill the wood with mud, saliva and faeces. The wood will appear layered because they discard the hard wood part. These termites are responsible for the damages caused to crops in the sub-tropical and warm places.
How to spot a Subterranean Termite infestation?
• The presence of tubular patterns made out of mud.
• The presence of swarmers or flying ants especially near light sources indicates that a nest is present in the locality.
• When you spot swarmers inside your home, it means that there is a termite infestation inside your home.
• Presence of mud tunnels. These tunnels connect the Subterranean Termites from their habitat (soil) to the food source (wood).
• Holes in the wooden structures or damaged wood
• Presence of heaps of termite wings in and around your house
Where to look for Termite infestation
• Wooden structures in the basement
• Window frames in the basement, wood structures under the porches, supporting wooden pillars and all other wood near the soil
• Cracks in the constructions
• Wooden fences and old tree stumps
How to prevent Subterranean Termites infestation
If you are not aware, the Subterranean Termites cause huge damage to homes, buildings and crops causing people to spend a huge amount on treating infestations and repairing the damages. But if you are able to prevent termite infestation or detect the infestation in the early stage, you can save yourself too many bucks.
Some of the effective preventive steps include –
1. Prevent moisture near the foundation of your home. Build a proper drainage so that all kinds of stagnant water bodies are diverted away from your homes.
2. Provide proper ventilation especially cross-ventilation inside your home. This prevents the formation of moisture which attracts these termites.
3. Make sure that the external wood works are at least 6 inches above the ground.
4. De-clutter all the wood scraps from your house and the compound.
5. Treat the soil with termite repellents.