Termites come in many shapes and sizes, with the subterranean termite being the most common. These small, ant-like insects find refuge in wood (much like that found in your house). As a result of their propensity for tunneling, they wreak havoc on the wood structures, compromising the structural integrity. Normally, soil provides a perfect segway for subterranean termites to enter your house.
Much like their close relative, the ant, subterranean termites are social creaturesthat live in colonies. And these colonies are dominated by a stringent caste system. Thus the work is split up among three groups: reproduction, labor,soldier castes. As the name suggests, the soldier termites are solely responsible for the protection of the colony. The labor termites are the main laborers, whose typical duties include food gathering, nest building, and feeding the reproductive termites. Lastly, the reproductive termites are responsible for repopulating the colony (not good news for you).
The colonies of subterranean termites usually reside underground, in soil that isinundated with moisture. Yet they dont limit themselves just to soil. To the horror of homeowners everywhere, subterranean termites commonly migrate from their soil enclaves to a new wooden environment. Yet the wood doesnt even have to be in contact with the soil- they have been known to construct mud tunnels/tubes that extend several feet into the air.
First and foremost, moisture accumulation around the foundation must be resisted at all costs. Running water, especially standing water, needs to be diverted away from the structure. This can be accomplished by sloping the earth away from the property, allowing the water to drain away from the structure. Furthermore, proper ventilation and the reduction of humidity in crawl spaces effectively deter termite infestations. These methods make the ground much more dry, an uninviting environment for subterranean termites. Lastly, it is crucial toclear any obstacles from covering vents. This is a necessary step in subterranean termite treatment and prevention.
Lastly, as a preventative measure in your subterranean termite treatment arsenal, you should never leave wood scrapes or rotting wood near your house. These low grade forms of wood provide the perfect environment for termites, and once infested, the termites will move on to nearby structures (your house). Well there you go- as long as you follow these subterranean termite treatment steps you should be in good shape, termite free.