When to Treat Subterranean Termites

Get a Free Quote

Termites are one of the worst pests to invade a home because they’re extremely destructive. It’s also difficult to detect them early on since they silently attack the structural wood in your home. Most homeowners only find termites inside their walls once the pests have already left considerable damage that costs thousands in repair.

So when should you get the house treated for subterranean termites? As soon as possible, especially before termite season starts or if you live in an area that’s attractive to termites. It’s also good to have a termiticide barrier around your home once you notice termites crawling  in your yard. For best results, call a pest control company for an initial inspection in the property, which can be followed by extermination solutions or annual inspections for prevention. 

Call Today: Make Your Home Pest-Free

It has never been easier to ensure you never have to deal with any kind of pest in your home again, when you call Pinnacle Pest Control. Our pest control professionals can make your home invaders a thing of the past. Book your appointment today.

How Soon Should You Worry About Subterranean Termites?

Termites are destructive household pests that commonly infest properties in Sacramento and other parts of the United States. Getting rid of them and replacing the termite-damaged wood are extremely expensive – they even cost up to a total of 5 billions of dollars in repair every year, most of which aren’t covered by insurance policies.

Since professional pest management services cost an arm and a leg for many property owners, it’s understandable that most of them attempt to solve the problem using homemade repellents. But when the subterranean termites start attacking the wooden structures in the foundation wall and floor of your property, then it’s time to call a reliable pest control service provider to eliminate the termites for good. 

Subterranean Termites: As Household Pests Vs. As An Important Part of the Ecosystem

Subterranean termites are ecologically important species because they break down and distribute nutrients to the soil when they consume woody debris. Their tunneling habit ensures that the soil has enough aeration and nutrients to support plant growth. These termites also serve as an energy-rich food source to different predators like birds, spiders, frogs, and more.

As long as they stay on the moist soil and away from man-made buildings occupied by humans, subterranean termites remain beneficial for the environment. This species of termites only becomes a huge headache for residential and commercial property owners when they chew through the structural wood in contact with soil. 

Subterranean Termites and Their Mating Season

Subterranean termites are social creatures that need to stick together in their colony to thrive. They usually reproduce during the swarming season around springtime to disperse from their mature colonies and create satellite colonies nearby. A single colony only swarms once per year, but there might be multiple swarms throughout the year depending on the location or current season.

When starting a new colony, winged termites pair up and find a suitable place for mating. One sign of successful alates pairing is when there are discarded wings near edges and holes of the house’s walls or foundation. The female termite becomes the queen of the new subterranean termite colony and lays its eggs that hatch into worker termites. Some of the hatched termites also develop into soldiers that defend the queen and the entire colony. 

Most Common Season for Subterranean Termite Infestations

The season for subterranean termites doesn’t have a definite beginning or ending because these pests are active all year round. The biggest factor that affects the termite season is the weather or temperature: subterranean termites avoid foraging when the soil near their colony is too hot or too cold. They’re usually less active during the winter months of November to February.

To prevent these pests from causing significant structural damage to the house, it’s best to have long-lasting preventive measures in place all year round. Make sure to call a subterranean termite control company at the first sign of termite activity in the property. 

What Attracts Subterranean Termites To Your Home

All termites are attracted to wood because it’s their main food source, but different termite species have different preferences. Subterranean termites usually infest damaged wood that’s in contact with soil. Here are the things that lure them into the property and what you can do about them:

1) Moisture

Improper drainage, leaky pipes, rainwater accumulation in the gutters, and poor airflow are just some moisture issues inside a building that attract termites. Subterranean termites are fond of humid environments and they prefer to live in an area with enough moisture and water source for them.

The best way to prevent these termites from entering is to inspect the house for possible moisture issues and repair them immediately. Another way to avoid moisture accumulation problems at home is to enclose the crawl space and regularly unclog the gutter. 

2) Wood Structures Near House Foundations

Subterranean termites move through soil and dead wood to get inside properties. Having wooden structures in contact with the concrete foundations and soil makes the home susceptible to active termite infestations. Mulch, overgrown shrubs, dead trees, and woodpiles placed too close to the building also attract these pests and make it easier for them to get inside.

Make sure that dead trees and stumps are removed from the property to keep the subterranean termites at bay. All firewood and other wood piles should also be stored about 20 feet away from the house’s exterior and 5 inches above ground. Lastly, make it a habit to trim shrubs and vines so they’re not touching the exterior walls of the house. 

How Bad Are the Damages Caused By Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites primarily eat wood because they don’t have much competition for this kind of food source. Most insects and animals can’t digest cellulose materials so termites have a monopoly over wood materials. But the diet and habit of termites put human homes at risk of severe structural damages, especially if the building is mostly made up of wood.

Termites use their hard and saw-toothed jaws to bite off wood and break them down into smaller pieces at a time. Even a small colony of subterranean termites with a few thousand individual workers consume as much as 5 grams of wood per day. If left untreated, even small subterranean termite colonies can collapse entire buildings over time, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in repair.

Aside from attacking the wood structures in the foundation and wall of the house, these termites also consume the pieces of furniture like cabinets made of wood once they get inside. They’re capable of traveling through metal siding and plaster, so it’s not surprising for a small but active infestation to develop into a severe one. 

5 Signs of Infestation In Your Home

mud tube infested with subterranean termites

Subterranean termites are difficult to spot because of their appearance, but there are a few ways to recognize termite activity in your home. Once there’s one or more of these signs, make sure to call a pest control professional immediately to determine the extent of the infestation and eliminate the termites in the best way. 

Mud Tube

Subterranean termites create tubes or tunnels to connect the adjacent soil where they came from to the wood that they eat. Mud tunnels or termite galleries are about as wide as a pencil. They also come in different kinds meant for different functions, like the working tubes, exploratory tubes, and drop tubes.

What’s amazing about these termite tubes is that they allow the termites to maintain their moisture requirements as they move back and forth from the colony and the food source. 

Cracks in the Exterior Wall and Concrete Slab

Cracks, gaps, and holes on the foundation of the home or any part of the building’s exterior allow termites to come in. They serve as an entry point for subterranean termites that build mud tubes in the cracks and for subterranean termite swarmers that start a satellite colony there. 

Peeling Paint

Termites may also attack the drywall of the house to eat its cellulosic part. The damage on the drywall causes moisture to seep into the space between its surface and the paint, resulting in peeling, bubbling, or buckling. While peeling paint can be a result of many other factors, there’s a huge chance that termites are the main cause especially if other signs of termite activity are also present.   

Hollow Walls and Sagging Floors

Once subterranean termites manage to get inside the house, they eat the inside of the wooden structure in the walls and floors. These termites burrow into the wood but leave the surface untouched, resulting in hollow-sounding walls and sagging floors that weaken the foundation of the house.

Aside from the obvious sagging and hollow sounds when the walls or floors are knocked, it’s also common for homeowners to find small holes on the walls if there’s termite activity. Large holes are typically made by carpenter ants, which are another pest species that attack wood, but smaller holes are usually a sign of subterranean termite infestations. 

Termite Swarmers

Reproductive termites called swarmers or alates have bodies that are brown or black with pairs of wings. They’re a bad sign of termite activity because they only usually show when the nearby colony of termites has already reached the maximum population.

Termite swarming usually happens around the daytime after warm, rainy weather. But if you don’t spot these winged reproductives alive, they might leave termite wings around the edges of windows, wall holes, and other possible entry points. 

How To Get Rid of Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites are difficult to eliminate using natural repellents because their nests are difficult to detect and they usually have hundreds of individual termites per colony. It’s best to leave this kind of task at the hands of an experienced pest management professional to ensure that these pests are gone for good. Here are some of the recommended termite treatments to eliminate subterranean termites in a property: 

Termiticide Barriers

Pest control companies utilize professional-grade termiticide products like liquid Termidor SC to get rid of subterranean termites in a property. These conventional termite treatments are usually applied around the exterior perimeter of the building, creating a barrier that prevents the pests from entering the house. Termiticide barriers are also known as soil treatment.

The subterranean termites won’t be able to detect the liquid termiticide so they can’t avoid the chemical barrier if they try to enter the house. While it may take some time for them to die because it’s a slow-acting poison, the liquid insecticide kills all the other termites in the colony when ingested and shared. Termiticide barriers also remain effective for several years, making them a good preventative measure that keeps the subterranean termites at bay. 

Chemical Treatments

Direct chemical treatments work similarly to termiticides but instead of simply applying them to the perimeter of the house, they can be safely used indoors. This is perfect for homeowners who spot a live subterranean termite inside the house and want to get rid of the pest instantly.

Termidor foam is one of the most commonly used direct chemicals that kill off subterranean termites inside the house. Just shoot the odorless foam into cracks and crevices where there’s termite activity and wait for it to expand then evaporate. The residue left after applying the chemical poisons the termite as they go near it. The Termidor foam remains effective for up to a month or longer. 

Termite Baits

Using termite bait stations is another proven method to eliminate subterranean termites or keep them at bay. The baits are usually installed around the perimeter of the building’s foundation to attract foraging termites nearby.

Termite baiting systems contain slow-acting insecticides and toxins that interrupt the natural growth of the pest, effectively killing them during the molting stage. Thanks to the delayed action of the termite bait, the infected termites return to their colony and transmit it to other individuals in their nest. 


Nematodes are microscopic and segmented roundworms that serve as natural parasites to different garden pests like subterranean termites. These beneficial nematodes kill termites by burrowing inside their bodies and releasing symbiotic gut bacteria, eventually poisoning the termite’s blood until they die in a couple of days.

Beneficial nematodes are usually bought online or in stores. Just apply a mixture of nematodes, cold water, and potting soil to the areas of the yard or garden infested with subterranean termites. 

Excellent Subterranean Termite Treatment by Pinnacle Pest Control

professional pest control worker shaking hands over a job well done subterranean termite control

Even the most effective homemade repellents are no match for severe subterranean termite infestations, so it’s better to leave this kind of job at the hands of a professional pest control company like Pinnacle Pest Control.

With several years of experience in the pest control industry, our pest control specialist promises to get rid of the termites in the property quickly, safely, and effectively. We also provide additional treatments as needed and recommend preventative measures to avoid future infestations.

Request a free quote now by calling us at (916) 381 – 5793.

Guaranteed Pest Extermination Services, Right at Your Doorstep

No matter what kind of pest problem you’re dealing with, you can count on Pinnacle Pest Control to provide top-notch pest extermination services. With decades of experience under our name, we have already helped hundreds of residents and business owners in Sacramento eliminate pests in their property and keep them away for good.

Call Now

Related Posts