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What's That Bug?!

Termites : Eastern Subterranean

Approximate size

.25 in to .5 in long


The termites in the colony are generally organized into the worker caste, the soldier caste, and the reproductive caste. Workers are about 3 mm long and are blind, wingless, soft-bodied, creamy white to grayish white with a round head. They make up the majority of the termites that actually eat the wood. Soldiers are wingless and resembles workers, expect for that they are larger, rectangular, yellowish-brown head with long black mandibles. Reproductive are adult winged termites who have two pairs of long narrow wings, dark skin, and beaded antennae. Reproductive termites shed their wings, which are black and about one centimeter long with grayish-transparent wings.

Common places to find bug

The eastern subterranean termite is the most widely distributed termite found in the eastern United States.

3 Indicators of Termite Colonies

Mud tubes – foraging tubes extend from the ground to the infested wood. The tubes provided a shelter for the termites. They are flattened and muddy looking in appearance. Most are about the width of a pencil. They are most obvious when they extend over concrete foundations and other exposed surfaces. Less visible tubes run along cracks, underneath flooring, or behind siding and baseboards.

Swarmer – Winged termites emerge indoor or outside from swarming tubes immediately adjacent to the structure are often 1st signs of infestation. Swarmers are attracted to light. Therefore they can often be found around lighting fixtures, windows, doors, or vents. A lot of swarmer termites wings will appear on windowsills, floors, or in spider webs.

Wood damage – A common indication of subterranean infestation is the presence of dark areas or blisters in wood flooring. However, subterranean termite damage can go unnoticed because the termites only eat the spring wood leaving the grain and exterior surface intact. However, the galleries can be detected by tapping the wood every few inches with the handle of a screwdriver. The damaged wood sounds hollow and the screwdriver may even break through the wood into the galleries. If the galleries are active the worker termites will be observed inside.

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