Unlike other criminals, termites don’t leave fingerprints or footprints at the crime scene. But a termite trail (aka “mud tube”) is one of the best indicators there’s termite activity in your home. A termite trail tells a story, and for that reason, you shouldn’t remove any termite mud tubes you find.
What Is a Termite Trail?
A termite trail is like a commuter train. It’s a tube-like pathway in which termites have built from saliva, dirt, wood, and other scraps. The tubes can be found on interior or exterior walls, floors, or ceilings.
Some say once you find a termite trail, the damage is done. That’s not exactly true. There may be some damage, but if you respond quickly, you can stop termites – literally – in their tracks.
Types of Termite Tubes
Just as there are different types of termites, there are several types of mud tubes. Termite trails indicate the presence of subterranean termites, the most prevalent termite species in Arizona.
Like most insects, termites are driven to seek food sources. Different types of trails are used to make food access easier.
Subterranean termites construct 4 types of trails:
- Drop tubes – These tubes descend from a working site.
- Exploratory – Exploratory tubes are created for one-time food-searching only and are usually hollow by the time you find them.
- Swarming castles – Tiny swarmers need additional protection after leaving the nest. The “castles” provide temporary housing.
- Working – Working tubes are built to accommodate heavy traffic and longer-than-usual distances for termites. Again, their purpose is easy access to a food source.
10 Ways to Prevent Termites and Termite Trails
Understanding termites is the key to preventing termites. In Arizona, that knowledge usually leads to a preventive maintenance partnership with your local pest control company. One good treatment should last several years, but most homeowners schedule an annual termite inspection.
Most termite prevention tips are common sense and will reduce the risk of other pest infestations, too. Here are ten ways to prevent termites and termite trails:
- Clean gutters and downspouts regularly and address blockages immediately.
- Don’t store firewood, mulch, etc. against the exterior or anywhere inside the house, including the garage, crawlspace, etc. Eliminate plant trestles from your home’s exterior.
- Eliminate tree stumps, dead plants, deteriorating decking, and untreated flooring.
- Maintain good airflow throughout your house.
- Place bait stations at points of previous termite activity.
- Repair plumbing leaks asap.
- Seal cracks and small holes in your foundation, walls, etc.
- Talk with your neighbors. Request they let you know if they find signs of termite activity so you can prevent an infestation.
- Termites thrive in moist, watery environments. Fix drips and dehumidify any moisture areas in your home. Eliminate puddles in your yard.
- Trim plants so they don’t touch the exterior of your house.
Contact Budget Brothers for Termite Control
Arizona is a wonderful place to live, work, and play. That’s why we have so many newcomers, especially here in The Valley and Maricopa County.
If you’re a new Arizona property owner or about to be, make sure your real estate contract includes buyer disclosures and a recent termite inspection by a reputable company. (In 2018, there were several real estate/termite scammers in the Phoenix area. Check testimonials and reviews before you sign.)
Learn as much as possible about Arizona termites and how to prevent them. You’ll be able to make informed decisions about termite treatment and prevention. You’ll then choose Budget Brothers Termite & Pest Elimination as your home and family’s pest professional. Contact us to learn more.