Family Rhinotermitidae

Subterranean Termite - Rhinotermitidae
Color: Creamy brown
Legs: 6
Shape: Long, narrow, oval
Size: 1/8"
Antennae: Yes
Region: Throughout the U.S.

Subterranean termites live in underground colonies or in moist secluded areas above ground that can contain up to 2 million members. They build distinctive "mud tubes" to gain access to food sources and to protect themselves from open air. Termite colonies are organized into castes depending on tasks -- workers, soldiers and reproductives. The characteristics of a subterranean termite are dependent on the termite's role in the colony. Cream-colored Worker subterranean termites are 1/8 to 3/8's of an inch in length. Soldier subterranean termites are of a similar body length, but are distinguished by their powerful mandibles. Solider termites have cream-colored bodies and brown heads. Reproductive subterranean termites are approximately one inch long.



Subterranean termites live underground and build tunnels, referred to as mud tubes, to reach food sources. Like other termite species, they feed on products containing cellulose. Subterranean termites swarm in the spring -- groups of reproductive termites go off to start new colonies.


Subterranean termites need contact with the soil to survive and live underground. They can build tunnels through cracks in concrete.


Subterranean termites are by far the most destructive species. They can collapse a building entirely, meaning possible financial ruin for a homeowner. The hard, saw-toothed jaws of termites work like shears and are able to bite off extremely small fragments of wood, one piece at a time.


Avoid water accumulation near your home's foundation. Divert water away with properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks. Reduce humidity in crawl spaces with proper ventilation. Never bury wood scraps or waste lumber in the yard. Most importantly, eliminate wood contact with the soil. Maintain a one-inch gap between the soil and wood portions of the building.

* Information courtesy of National Pest Management Association, Inc.


For more information, check out the articles in AB-Con's Bug Blog:

Do YOU have termites?

Termites - What You Can't See CAN Destroy Your Home

So...What is a Termite Swarmer Anyway?

Spring is coming and so are the Termite Swarmers

Swarmers in September? it's not Termites - it may be Acrobat Ants

Don't Let Termites Divide and Conquer Your South Jersey Home!

Termite Pre-Treatments for New South Jersey Construction

Termite Treatment

Why do I see Termite Swarms AFTER a Termite Treatment?

Termite Damage Repair

How to Choose the RIGHT Termite and Pest Control Professional for You!

Top Ten Reasons WHY you should have a Renewable Termite Warranty

Get Your South Jersey Home Inspected for Termites

What Does a Termite Inspection in South Jersey Entail?

Termite Inspection and Termite Certification vs Home Inspection




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