Subterranean termites are the most widespread and most destructive species in the US. This is despite the fact that being out in the open can kill them. To overcome this weakness, termites will rarely leave the ground, but when they do, they will build mud tubes which will insulate them from the open air, and which will allow them to stay safe while reaching wood that otherwise would be inaccessible.
What do the mud tubes look like?
A mud tube looks like you would expect – it’s a tube of mud that runs alongside walls. These tubes also branch out in order to reach their targets. The tubes will be brown or light brown in coloration, and they will be enclosed, going from the ground to the wood. There are also several different types of mud tubes, which will get their shape from the function that they need to fulfill. For example, you may come across a hanging mud tube, which resembles a stalagmite that goes from the wood to the ground without any other structural support. This type of tube is a shortcut that allows the termites to travel faster when they are dealing with a more remote wood source.
Knocking down the tubes
Knocking down the tubes will not do too much to halt the infestation – the termites will simply build new ones. In order to tackle the infestation, your best bet is to either set up bait stations or a liquid barrier. Bait stations are placed in the ground around your property, and they contain cellulose laced with a slow-acting poison. These baits will draw in the termites, which will take them back to the colony where the poisonous baits eventually reach the queen and kill it.
Liquid barriers are liquid pesticides that are injected around the foundation of the home, creating a blockade that prevents termites from passing through. This will disconnect the colony from your home, killing any termites that are inside and preventing any more from coming in.
Choosing between these two treatment options will depend on the particulars of your infestation, and a pest control specialist can advise you on how to make the best decision. If you have noticed any mud tubes, that means that you have an infestation and you need to act fast. Contact us today if you suspect that you have a termite infestation and you would like to get it under control.