Termite tubes are the pathways subterranean termites build to connect their underground homes to their above-ground food sources. These tubes are constructed primarily from mud, wood particles, and a glue-like secretion from their mouths. Subterranean termites build these tubes to protect themselves from predators. These tubes also serve to prevent their bodies from drying out in the air. All homeowners should carefully look over their home with a flashlight at least once per year for termite tubes and other signs of termites.
Termite tubes can be found on just about any surface – wood, concrete, brick, metal, and more. Sometimes they are built in easily visible places, while other times the tubes are nestled into cracks or seams. Some of the most common places you might find termite tubes are basements and crawl spaces, porches and fences, or tree stumps.
Termite Tubes in Basements and Crawl Spaces
Basements and crawl spaces are very attractive to termites. Their bodies require moisture to survive, so these often humid and damp locations are the perfect feeding grounds. Termites only need a 1/64th of an inch crack to enter your basement or crawl space. Once they are in, these destinations can function as the starting point for a much larger, whole home infestation.
Porches and Fences
A wooden porch or fence is like an “all you can eat buffet” for termites. There is plenty of wood right out in the open, just waiting to be devoured. Painting or staining the wood can serve as a deterrent. However, you will need to cover every side of the wood – including the underside and cut edges. You should also make sure your home has proper drainage to keep water from accumulating in these areas.
Termites love to feed on dead wood, especially when they have direct access to it from the ground. Although you may not be concerned about preserving the tree stumps in your yard, it is important to check these areas for termites. While feeding on the tree stump, the termites will also be scouting out new food sources, bringing them closer and closer to your front door.
What should I do if I find termite tubes at my home?
If you find termite tubes on your home, you can inspect it to determine if it is active or abandoned. Active tubes will appear moist, while abandoned tubes are dry and brittle. If you break away part of the tube, you may be able to see live termites running back and forth. Makes sure to check after a few days to see if there is activity. If the tube has been reconstructed where you broke it, you will know that termites are present.
However, if you do find abandoned termite tubes, it does not necessarily mean that the termites have moved on from your home. Subterranean termites will often abandon their exploratory tubes. The only way to be certain that your house is free of termites is to contact Budget Brothers Termite to inspect your home.
Being proactive in detecting and treating for termites in your home is extremely important. Termites work in silence. If you aren’t paying attention, they can cause large amounts of damage before you even notice the first signs of trouble.
Whether you find termite tubes in one of these common locations – or even spot some termite tubes in an uncommon place, it is imperative that you seek professional help right away. Schedule your termite inspection in the Phoenix Valley today with Budget Brothers Termite and Pest Elimination by calling 602-253-2495.