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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: 4 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.

 Eastern Sub Termite Inspection

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.


Eastern Sub Termite Inspection

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 Eastern Sub Termite Control


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.


 Termite Prevention Eastern Sub


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.


It is practically every adults dream to someday own a home of their own and once the dream is realized, it’s no surprise to what lengths a person may go to protect it. Whether you’re protecting it from intruders and burglars by installing a security system or building a fence, you do whatever you can to protect perhaps your life’s biggest and most precious investment. However, while those security cameras monitor threats from outdoors, there may already be an intruder inside your home that is chomping away at your most prized possession, perhaps without you even knowing it. That silent assassin is the wood-loving termite, which among the most common to households is the subterranean termite.


Subterranean termites are one of the main culprits in the termite family which lays destruction upon the wooden structure of homes, causing billions of dollars of damage on a yearly basis. Termites target any form of wood and they do so silently, often going undetected until it’s too late and there’s a need for expensive home repairs. It’s the responsibility of every homeowner to know this enemy which could potentially be a threat to your home as the infestations they create can become an overwhelming amount. In this article, we will share with you important info about the subterranean termite and how you can eradicate an existing colony from your home using our products and learning our DIY techniques.


Subterranean Termite Facts

Subterranean termites are from the Isoptera insect order and have been around for millions of years. These insects may resemble ants sometimes but while they do share certain traits and even behaviors of ants such as being social insects and forming colonies, their main difference is that termites primarily get their nourishment from cellulose, which is a main ingredient that makes up wood.


The subterranean termite comes in three different forms. The first form are known as reproductives or swarmers, the second are workers and the third are known as soldiers. These three types of subterranean termites or castes each have distinct characteristics and roles in the makeup of their colony.


  • The Reproductives can either be a queen termite, king or an alate. Their primary function is to produce the termites to make up the colony. This caste of subterranean termite is distinguished by the fact that they are winged. The reproductives only leave the colony to swarm, or mate to establish new colonies.

  • Worker termites are the ones who create the most damage to homes and buildings by eating wood and creating tunnels. They are the providers of food for the entire colony and also help maintain the colony and its nest. The worker colonies make the the majority of the colony and are the largest in number in the colony compared to the other two castes.

  • Soldier termites hold the responsibility of protecting the colony. They have enlarged jaws known as mandibles which they use to defend the colony from intruders. The look similar to worker termites except with larger heads and the mandibles they contain. They are the smallest of the termite colony population, making up only 1 to 3 percent.

The species of subterranean termites known as the Formosan termite are known as “supertermites” due to their aggressive behavior and the massive colonies they have the ability to create. They live in colonies containing between 1 to 10 million termites and can surprisingly consume up to 13 oz of wood a day, making them the most destructive of subterranean termites found in the U.S. Formosan termites are primarily restricted to the southern parts of the U.S and the gulf coast regions due to the fact that they require temperatures to be above 68 degrees for survival.


Keys for Subterranean Termite Survival

Subterranean termites need moisture to survive as they easily become dehydrated and die. This is why they primarily live in moist soils underground. However, they can live above ground if they find a source of moisture in an unexposed place. In addition to moisture, subterranean termites also need cellulose for survival. This is why they feed on wood, paper and other cellulose containing products.


In order to protect themselves while feeding or searching for food, subterranean termites create mud tubes which allow them to travel from food source to food source without being exposed to the elements. These tubes are created by the worker termites with a combination of saliva, soil, wood and other debris.


Signs You Have A Subterranean Termite Infestation

A subterranean termite infestation can be very easy to detect or difficult depending on the phase of the infestation. One way of finding out if you have a sizable infestation is finding swarmers indoors. These winged termites would indicate a serious infestation nearby.  Some other signs include finding discarded wings, mud tubes in foundational areas of the home or crumbled or damaged wood in your home. It is possible to conduct your own thorough inspection with a good flashlight, a screwdriver and a sharp pair of eyes to scan your home for these signs.


Subterranean Termite Treatment and Prevention


Like was stated earlier, since subterranean termites need moisture for survival, they most likely are found mainly in the ground and they travel into homes from the ground into your house usually from underneath. Outdoors subterranean termites are found around trees, plants, firewood, scrap lumber or mulch. Indoors, subterranean termites can be found entering structures around plumbing, cracks, and other openings. Any wood that is in direct contact with the soil is also a prime target for subterranean termites.


For that reason the best way of treating subterranean termites is to dig a trench around the home and place the treatment in the trench to act as a barrier. Using a non-repellent termiticide such as Taurus SC does a great job of killing termites. Non-repellent products go undetected by termites as a secret killer that they walk through freely and carry back down to their colonies, wiping out the queen and the entire colony. A great thing about the termiticides we carry at Solutions Pest and Lawn is that they have stay effective for a long-time, between 5 to 10 years.


Step 1: Dig the Trench

Using a shovel or a pick ax, dig a trench against the foundation home. The trench should be about 6 inches wide and 6 inches deep.


Step 2: Mix and Pour the Termiticide

Mix your selected termiticide according to the instructions on the label, preferably in a 4 gallon bucket. A 4 gallon bucket of termiticide solution should cover about 10 lineal feet along the house, making sure to evenly distribute it. Repeat this step until you fill the trench totally around your home.


Step 3: Cover the Trench

Take the soil that was dug up and fill the trench back up. We would recommend that before you put the soil back on that you make sure to treat the soil with the same termiticide. This can be done by using hand pump sprayer to spray the termiticide and then shoveling it immediately back onto the treated trench.


Additionally or alternatively depending on your preference, treat the wood around your home with a termiticide like Boracare. This solution is able to seep into wood and will prevent termites from infesting wood long-term.


You can also continue to monitor termite activity after this trench treatment by applying Red Eye Termite monitoring stations in the ground around your home. This product will indicate to you if termites are around and once notified, you can treat them immediately by injecting a termiticide like Fipro Aerosol into the station to kill the termites which have infested the station.


Termite Control: You Can Do It Yourself!


Hiring a professional termite exterminator to inspect and treat your home can range anywhere from $800 to upwards of $1500 dollars. What surprises most people is that these exterminators use the termiticides that we carry here at Solutions which is available to the public. Most of the costs of a professional termite treatment is in the labor. If you are willing to do the labor yourself, by merely purchasing our professional-grade termite control products, it’ll only cost you a couple hundred dollars saving you a bundle in labor costs to a professional.


Following the treatment steps laid out above, you can conveniently and easily pull off a professional-quality termite treatment yourself! If you have a drywood termite or formosan termite problem, check those respective pages for a different control plan and recommendations.


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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