Termites are always a problem for anyone who has wooden property. However, do you know that from various termite species one species highly found throughout the U.S? Yes, it is known as subterranean termites. This species has always become a high concern for anyone because they are recognized as one of the most destructive pests that chew woods and wooden building structure at a very fast pace. So, most of the wood damages in America are caused by this species of termites. If you want to know more details about this species of termite, you can check out their characteristics below.
How to Identify Subterranean Termites?
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The appearance of subterranean termites can be classified by castes….
Almost all termite workers have similar appearance looks. They have a cream colored body with no wings. Their body length is only 1/8 inch long. They have the long oval shape and narrow width.
The soldiers are the colony defenders that have the creamy-white body with brownish head. Unlike the workers, the soldiers have more massive mandibles or jaws. They also have no wings.
- Swarmer (alates)
Swarmers are only the termites that have wings. They have two pairs of wings that almost being equal in length about 1/4 to 1/2 inch long. Their body is dark-brown to black.
Subterranean Termites Living Areas
Mostly, subterranean termites can be found in the most area of the United States. Since they are preferred for a warmer area, they are relatively scarce in the colder states. So, there might be a high number in the southern states that more heated than the northern regions. In this case, you can find this species of termites except for the Alaska. Subtropical states such as Florida and Southern California have a tremendous humid weather for these termites to live.
Subterranean Termites Diet and Habit
Their diet is almost the same as other termite species. They like to eat the cellulose of the wood and other materials that contain cellulose. However, they prefer to eat only the softwood. So, you can see the subterranean termite damage for woods usually leave layered result because the soldiers won’t eat the hardwood portion. These termites also only eat along the grain, so they layered result will not come across the grain. Drywood termites may also have the same pattern.
These termites from subterranean species are living underground within the colonies to build their nest. Subterranean termite nest is known as one of the largest termite nest. They will build tunnels in the soil to find the food like from trees or structural timbers in the building.
When they need to reach food above the ground level, they will build mud tunnels or tubes to keep the moisture inside their way to be able to survive. So, you may discover that the termites leave an accumulation of soil or mud in the damaged woods because they build tunnels to be able eating the wood.
The Signs of Subterranean Termites
The other subterranean termite signs can be seen when the swarms or flying termites start to appear above the ground. Usually, they will come out when the rain falls heavily, or the weather begins to get warmer. The colony will send the swarms that consist of reproductive males and females for mating and build a new colony.
After the mating season is over, they will discard their wings to find a good wood to build their colony. You should beware if seeing lots of fallen wings like in the windowsills or doorway. Check if the wings are all in the same size. If not, they may be from flying ants, not termites.
After learning the characteristics of termites from subterranean species, you should more beware when seeing the signs. Do fast pests controls before the termites destroy your building!