Subterranean termites can be difficult to detect and hard to get rid of, especially when drilling and spraying is involved. While many recommend experts to control subterranean termites, you can do it yourself with our professional grade products. Shop our subterranean termite products to treat, prevent, and protect your home.
Subterranean termites invade homes from soil around and beneath structures. When structural wood is in contact with soil and termites detect this wood, they begin to feed. Cracks and seams in foundations and siding, hollow blocks, masonry, and rock foundations also allow access points to subterranean termites. These termites must maintain contact with soil in order to retain enough moisture to remain alive. They bring a feces/soil mixture into their wood burrows to keep the moisture where they feed, and the colonies exist in the soil.
Subterranean Termite Identification
Subterranean termites can be difficult to detect, because they will stay in infested wood as they avoid outside contact. They feed very slowly and it can take several months and even years for damage to become significant. It can be difficult to detect subterranean termite damage, because from the outside, damaged wood can look perfectly intact. They prefer soft grain of the wood and in severe infestations only the hard grain may remain. Here are some ways to check for subterranean termite infestations and some telltale signs:
To check for an infestation, probe wood near foundation or soil or bases of studs and flooring with a sharp screwdriver. The wood will offer little resistance.
The soil-feces mixture you may find around wood in your home will appear damp or moist in an active infestation.
Presence of earthen shelter tubes (they look like dirt tunnels) on the foundation wall or on wood is a key sign of an infestation.
Search the soil near your home and wood in foundations for live termites. Worker termites are a transparent milky white, reproductive termites are brown or black and are the “swarmers” of the termite colony and fly out to disperse and mate. Solider termites are larger and have large pinchers on their mouthparts.
Subterranean Termite Treatment
The best defense against termites is to treat the soil and foundation during construction of a new home. However, many of us aren’t thinking of termites when building, so treating existing homes is usually the case. Subterranean termite treatment cost can be very high if you hire a professional company, and choosing to treat them yourself can save you money and stress. If you choose to treat your termite infestation yourself, there are two options: soil and foundation treatments and baiting treatments. After reading the following information, please refer to our termite treatment guide, which can help you learn how to get rid of subterranean termites. Treatment for subterranean termites and Formosan termites is the same.
Soil and Foundation Treatments
Soil treatments eliminate current infestations and prevent new ones. Treating the soil near probable access points exposes termites traveling from soil to toxin, which spreads to nest mates. The great thing about these liquid termicide treatments is the long lasting nature of the chemicals. Under normal conditions these treatments can last from 5 to 8 years. However, using this kind of treatment can be labor intensive and you must be prepared to start and finish the treatment. Our experts recommend:
Direct treatment to the infested area with a product such as Termidor SC or a foam like Premise. Direct treatment to the infested area is the only way to be sure you are contacting the infestation.
Following up with a product like Boracare on foundation wood 90 days later will prevent later infestations.
Creating a barrier by trenching and using a product like Termidor, Taurus SC, or Dominion 2L will eliminate current infestations, since colonies live in the yard, and will prevent future infestations.
Termite foam works well to fill wall voids, around fireplaces, under cement slabs and under soil-filled porches – or anywhere liquid treatments can’t reach.
Remember to never apply liquid treatments when soil is frozen or water soaked, keep pets and humans away from treated soil, and always read insecticide labels and instructions.
Bait treatments can be very effective but are a little slower to go into effect. The traps are full of a toxic food source, so these bait traps only affect the termites that eat this bait and whatever termites they share the food with. It can take a while for the termites to notice and start feeding on the baits, and the bait toxin is slower acting than liquid soil treatments and there is no residual protection once the traps are gone. However, these baits eliminate the need for drilling holes into your foundation, use less insecticides than liquid treatments, and allow the occupants to stay home during the application, and is easier for a home-owner to implement.