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Subterranean Termites

Subterranean Termites

Quick Reference Facts

Common Name: Subterranean Termites
Common Traits: Color: Creamy white to dark brown/black, Shape: Long, narrow and oval, Size: 1/8 inch long, Region: Throughout the U.S.
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Prevention Methods

  • Avoid water accumulation around homes foundation
  • Divert water away with properly functioning downspouts
  • Reduce humidity in crawl spaces with proper ventilation


Subterranean termites build distinctive tunnels, often referred to as “mud tubes,” to reach food sources and protect themselves from open air. They use their scissor-like jaws to eat wood 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Like other termite species, subterranean termites also feed on products containing cellulose. Subterranean termites swarm in the spring when groups of reproductive termites go off to start new colonies..


Subterranean termites live in underground colonies with as many as two million members. They are also found in moist secluded areas above ground.


Subterranean termites are by far the most destructive termite species. The hard, saw-toothed jaws of termites work like shears and are able to bite off extremely small fragments of wood, one piece at a time. Over time, they can collapse a building entirely, meaning possible financial ruin for a homeowner. If you suspect a termite infestation, contact a pest professional about subterranean termite treatment.

Information provided by the National Pest Management Association