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How To Control Eastern Subterranean Termites

Of all the common household pests that homeowners encounter, there is probably none more damaging than termites, most notably the subterranean termite (also known as the Eastern subterranean termites). If left untreated, these termites can eat into your home which will cost a pretty penny to repair. Termite damage cost homeowners and building owners as much as $4.5 billion dollars annually in repairs, treatments and prevention.

Eastern Subterranean termites are social creatures and live in colonies where every termite has a specific role. Worker termites are cream-colored and do most of the eating and foraging for cellulose, a prime component in wood. The majority of a colony consists of worker termites. Then there are the soldier termites who are slightly bigger than workers at about ¼ inch-long. Equipped with large intimidating jaws, soldier termites main task is to protect the colony against potential intruders.

There are also alates or “swarmer” termites which are winged with their role being to produce new colonies. If you see these type of termites out and about in your home, it is a cause for concern since it’s an indication of a large infestation within your home. Finally, there are the reproductives known as the queens and kings which stay within the colony the full span of their lives.

Eastern subterranean termites are ground dwelling termites and invade homes from moist soil around and beneath structures. They basically travel from the soil to the wooden structure there they feed and create tunnels to travel and have easy access to their food source which unfortunately is your home.

Eastern Subterranean termites are known as silent destroyers because they are rarely heard and can be quietly destroying your house without detection. These termites can also be hard to get rid of without the proper guidance and products. If you have an infestation of eastern subterranean termites, action must be taken quickly. Fortunately, there is a way to eliminate the infestation yourself using our termite control products and following our expert tips.

How to Get Rid Of Eastern Subterranean Termites: 3 Step Solution

While experts will tell you that it’s best to seek the help of a professional when dealing with a subterranean termite infestation, this can be extremely costly. If you are willing to get your hands a little dirty and invest some time and sweat, you can eliminate an infestation yourself using the same high-quality products the professionals use, minus the exorbitant cost of labor. By following the simple steps we’ve laid out below, you can successfully wipe out the termite population that is destroying your home and put a stop to the damage.


Step 1: Identification - Eastern subterranean termites colonize in the ground. The alates or swarmers are winged and leave the colony to carry out their responsibility of producing new colonies. If you see this stage of termite inside or outside your home it should be cause for concern since it is an indication that your home is dealing with a large infestation. Then you have the King and Queen termites known as the reproductives who stay within the colony nest for their entire lifespan. The worker termites are cream colored and are about a 1/8th of an inch long and are the main termites responsible for damaging the home structure for the consumption of wood which contains cellulose, their main nutrient of choice. The workers and reproductives are protected by soldier termites which are 1/4 inch long their bodies are cream colored and the head is an orange-brown color and is rectangular shaped. They have large mandibles which they use to defend against intruders.


Termites form mud tubes which protect them from heat and direct sunlight. The termites travel to and from these tubes to the targeted home to obtain cellulose from wood. Termites are most active between January and May when conditions are either overcast or very humid.


Step 2: Inspection - Next we are going to want to confirm whether or not you have termites and the best way to do this is via inspection. The signs to look out for are mud tubes, frass, wings and feces. Mud tubes are pencil sized tunnels the termites create to travel to and from your home to their nest. These mudtubes will be found around wooden structures, foundations or any other structural support. Swarmer wings found in your home is an indication of the swarmer termites being active in mating and creating a new colony within the home. Finding wings is a tell-tale sign that you have a heavy infestation.


When doing these inspections, be sure you equip yourself with a flashlight to check dark areas like basements or attics. You should also use a screwdriver or sharp ended object to probe termite galleries. Pay close attention to all wood construction, support posts and ceiling joists or areas where soil meets wood.


Step 3: Control - Dig a trench around your home 6 inches deep and 6 inches wide. Once that is complete we recommend using a termiticide such as Taurus SC Termiticide to mix and pour into the dug trench. Use a poly sprayer when applying the Taurus SC termiticide to the trench. Once complete, backfill. This will create a chemical barrier that will keep termites from coming up from the exterior to access the wood of your home. Next, use a Red Eye Termite Monitoring Station. This can be installed around the home to control and prevent termites. Place these in areas conducive to termites. Place them anywhere from 8 to 10 feet apart and at least 5 feet away from the drip edge. Monitoring the Red Eye is simple. There is a clear view window on the top of the station with a painted red eye on a wooden dowel. As termites come up through the bottom of the station, they will begin to feed on the wood. The red eye then drops letting you know that there is termite activity. Take FiPro Foaming Aerosol and inject it into the station. The neat thing about this product is that its a foam so the longer you inject, the deeper it travels through the galleries in the ground, providing a direct kill.


Next, you can move your treatment indoors. Using the same Fipro Aerosol, apply this in areas where there is termite activity such as voids, cracks and crevices found around doors, windows, fireplaces, where plumbing meets the wall and also in holes in the sheetrock which may lead to termite galleries.


Step 4: Prevention - If you found during the inspection that you didn't have termites or you have long eliminated the termite issue and are worried they may return you can use a product called Reclaim IT Insecticide rather than Taurus SC. Reclaim IT is a repellant and will provide many years of protection against termites. Use Reclaim and perform the trench barrier treatment which was explained in step 3. You can also use Red Eye monitoring stations and place them around the home to monitor for termite activity. Other preventative measures you can take is to reduce moisture around the house. Fix all leaky roofs and windows or plumbing issues to keep your home and yard nice and dry.


Shop our eastern subterranean termite control products on this page. For more information, we have guides in our knowledge base with more detailed treatment steps for termites. You can also call us, email us or live chat with us on our website for free expert help.

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