Subterranean
Termites
The subterranean termites are ground dwelling termites which nest in the soil or wood in
contact with the ground. They are able to reach wood or cellulose material above the
ground level by means of earthen tubes which they build. Since these termites area
dependent on soil moisture they must always have a ground connection. There are rare
exceptions where they have been able to maintain themselves in damp wood in humid areas
even after the ground connection was broken.
The subterranean termite diet consists of all types of wood fibers and other forms of
cellulose. They keep busy 24 hours every day. These workers rarely break through the
surface of wood, they hollow it out from the inside.
Signs of subterranean termites are when an inspector finds hollowed out weakened wood,
and especially signs of termite tubings. These tubes can go up walls, along pipes, and even
stand free of any support.
Subterranean termite swarmer's (adult reproductive caste) generally appear in the fall and
spring (mainly March through April). As with
drywood termites the swarmer's are the ones
responsible for the creation of new termite colonies.  Subterranean termite swarming can be
triggered by rainfall and increase in air temperature.
Subterranean termites are controlled by licensed termite technicians by one of the following
methods:
  • Drilling 1/2 inch holes into the foundation or through the slab approximately
    every 12 inches, then a pressure injector forces chemical into the soil under the concrete
    slab, porch, or foundation. Holes are then plugged.
  • A chemical solution is applied
    between the nest and wood members of the infested area, or at the direct source (nest) of the
    infestation in the soil.
  • Application of a Bora-Care type material on wood members
    directly adjacent to an infestation. The type of treatment depends on where the source of
    infestation is originating.  A trained field representative is capable of determining the best
    method of control after making a termite inspection.