Western Subterranean Termites
Western Subterranean Termites are much smaller than dampwood termites . A winged reproductive is approximately 3/8 inch long with wings. They are dark brown to black in color and wings that are brownish grey and the body is 1/4 inch long. The worker caste is grayish white and are about 3/16 inch long. They live in the soil in nest that can be deep 10 to 20 ft near a food source, logs and stumps.
Because the termite nest apart from the food source and they can attack dry sound wood Subterranean Termites are considered a primary Wood destroying insect.
Indications of Termites can be visible, mud tubes, swarmers, damage to the wood and a tapping noise the soldier workers make when disturbed inside the wood. Shelter tubes can be found on wood, cracks and crevices and free-standing . The tubes are made from the soil mixed with their saliva to help protect from predators and prevent from dehydration. The tubes are often confused with moisture ants.
The fecal pellets are often clumped into galleries or use in shelter tubes and are rarely loose or scattered. The galleries are smaller than Dampwood termites and can be confused with Carpenter ant damage.
Mature colonies swarm annually and may not produce swarmers for several years. They can swam any time of year but primarily in the spring and fall when weather conditions are right.
In most cases the termites are found after the damaged has occurred and prevention is key to termite control. Inspection of crawl spaces should be done 1-2 times a year. Years with less annual rainfall can attract them to areas closer to homes. Having an inspection for your home can make you more aware of construction practices to help eliminate and control the Termites.