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Subterranean Termites


Subterranean termites are the most destructive termite that can be found in your home. They are small and creamy brown in color. Their colonies are built underground, because they need contact with soil. Because they can cause so much damage, it is imperative for you to call a professional at the first sign of an infestation. The professionals at Nashville Pest Control can correctly identify the type of termite, or even if it is termites, and get rid of the problem for you.

Appearance and Life-cycle:

Subterranean termites can range from 1/8 to 1- inch long. They are a creamy brown color and are long, narrow, and oval shaped.
Swarmers are dark brown to black in color. They are ¼ to ½ of an inch long. They have two pairs of almost equal length wings.

Workers do not have wings. They are only about ¼ of an inch in length and cream colored.
Soldiers also do not have wings. However, they  have large jaws. They are creamy white in color, but their head is typically a brownish color.

There is normally one primary queen per colony, which can lay tens of thousands of eggs in a lifetime. But eggs can also be laid by reproductive in an established colony.

Habitat and Behavior:

Subterranean termites are more common in the southern states, but they exist all over the country. They need contact with soil. Normally they build their colonies underground. Sometimes, if the conditions are right, they will live in wet areas above ground. First, they build their colony, which consists of a complex network of tunnels. Then, they build mud tubes to reach food above ground. As they eat wood, they fill the tunnels with soil to keep the moisture. Every spring, reproductive termites fly off to start new colonies.

An infestation is generally triggered by warm temperatures and heavy rainfall. An established colony will send out a swarm of winged termites under these conditions. A colony must be active for 3-5 years before the reproductive swarmers appear.

They eat wood, wallpaper, plastics, and fabric made from plants.

Level of Danger:

Subterranean termites are the most destructive kind of termite. They are capable of destroying building foundations, wooden support beams, plastic plumbing pipes, sub-flooring, insulation, swimming pool liners, and filtration systems. It is important to call Nashville Pest Control if you suspect your home is infested with termites to prevent further damage.

Signs of Infestation:

The damaged wood normally has soil or mud within the tunnels, because they build their nests underground. The wood also appears to be layered, since they only eat softwood. They also eat “with the grain,” instead of across the grain.
You might also see the discarded wings of swarmer termites. They are generally found on windowsills. If the wings are all the same size, they are most likely termite wings.


There are several things you can do to keep these pests away from your home. They are drawn to moisture, so eliminating moisture is key. So, make sure water drains away from your house and don’t let it build up around the foundation of the home. Be sure to replace damp or damaged wood on the outside of your home. Don’t leave wood scraps in the yard.

If you think you might be dealing with a subterranean termite infestation, or any other type of termite infestation, call Nashville Pest Control to protect your home.