The excitement of a new home purchase is often tempered by risk management efforts such as getting a professional home inspection and a homeowner’s insurance policy. However, one of the biggest threats to your real estate investment is one that you probably won’t notice until it’s too late. Experts at the National Pest Management Association reported that termites cause about $5 billion in property damage annually. These losses aren’t covered under a typical homeowner’s insurance policy. Subterranean termites are the termite type that causes the most trouble for property owners in the Texas Triangle. Here are some important facts about subterranean termites and advice about preventing or treating a subterranean termite infestation.

What Are Subterranean Termites?

Subterranean termites are a subclass of termites that live under the ground. Native subterranean termites and Formosan termites, which were introduced to the United States from Asia, are the two main classes of subterranean termites in America. Native subterranean termites are some of the most common termites in the eastern part of the United States, and they are also regularly found in the nation’s South and Gulf Coast regions. Formosan termites are nicknamed “super termites” because of their aggressive and destructive behavior.

Physical Characteristics of Subterranean Termites?

Native and Formosan termites fall into these three categories: soldiers, alates, and workers. These termites are between 1/8th and 3/8th inches in length. Soldier termites, which guard the nest, have white or cream-colored bodies and yellow or brown heads. While they don’t do damage to wooden structures, their presence indicates an infestation. Alates make up the reproductive division of the subterranean termite colony. Their bodies are dark colored, and they sometimes have wings. Workers are white or cream-colored, and they don’t have wings.

Living Habits and Behaviors of Subterranean Termites?

Native subterranean termites live in colonies that hold between a few hundred and a few hundred thousand termites. Formosan termite colonies can house up to 10 million subterranean termites. Worker termites build nests, and they find and gather food for their colonies. Alates swarm to reproduce after their colony reaches maturity. You’ll likely see swarming subterranean termites in your area in early spring. Formosan termites need temperatures above 68 degrees Fahrenheit to live, and all subterranean termites begin to swarm when temperatures climb above 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

What Attracts Subterranean Termites to Homes and Businesses?

If you think that subterranean termites are attracted to your home or commercial building’s wood framing, you’re only half right. Water is the most important resource for subterranean termites, and they die from dehydration quickly if they are deprived of a water source. Subterranean termites eat cellulose that’s found in house frames, furniture, and even carpet fibers. Workers come to the surface of nests when water and cellulose are readily available.

Signs That You Have a Problem with Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites work quietly behind your walls and furnishings. A full Formosan termite colony can eat up to 13 ounces of wood daily. After only a few years of activity, subterranean termites can ruin your home or commercial building from its roof to its sub-floor. These five items indicate that you may have subterranean termites.

  • Discarded wings from alates
  • Small piles of termite droppings
  • Mud tubes
  • Sagging floors
  • Worn carpet in low-traffic areas

Getting an annual termite inspection from a trusted pest management company is the best way to safeguard your property from extensive termite damage.


Subterranean termites live in well-ordered social colonies to survive. To make effective progress against these pests, you’ll need a team of organized specialists as well. Worldwide Pest Control has been protecting residential and commercial properties from subterranean termites since 1985. Our trained pest management professionals stay current on the latest tools and techniques in the industry to rid your property of subterranean termites safely and efficiently. Call us today for a free quote on service.