Termites are sneaky pests who gain entry through the smallest of cracks in the foundation of your home – even if your home is mainly masonry or block.
Because these little monsters are so clever, they’ve figured out how to build tunnels called mud tubes that let them safely navigate along your walls.
Mud tubes, or as we like to call them, the Termite Express, are their secret weapon to helping termites infiltrate your home. Many Phoenix homeowners may ignore them, as dirt on the wall but the reality is that these mud tubes the termite’s key to your kingdom.
Building mud tubes, they travel the Termite Express, passing materials they don’t eat in favor of drywall paper, studs, roof structures, plants, carpet, insulation, cardboard, fabric, animal feces, anything containing their favorite food of cellulose.
If your Phoenix home is made of masonry or block construction, it should be inspected and treated for termites by the professionals at Budget Brothers Termite & Pest Elimination.
What is a termite mud tube?
The Termite Express is made of a series of mud tubes which are pencil thin tunnels made of soil, wood particles, and the termites’ own saliva and feces. We don’t have to say it twice – don’t touch a termite mud tube with your bare hands.
If you suspect you have a termite infestation, use a stick or wear a pair of gloves and attempt to break the tube. If there are termites in the broken tube, you have an active infestation. Keep in mind that an empty tube doesn’t mean your home is termite-free. It just means the termites may have found a different path into your home like the wood around doorways or windows.
Why do termites use mud tubes?
Termites only need a bit of moisture, cellulose, and dirt to live their two year lifespan. In the best conditions, and if left undisturbed, termites can live longer.
Drywood termites like we have here in Arizona survive on less water than other species. To prevent dehydration in desert conditions and to protect from predators, termites build mud tubes to get to food sources quickly. They are able to forage between their nest and food source. If your house is in their path, it will become their next meal.
Where will you find termite mud tubes (and what does it mean)?
As you inspect your home for signs of termites, look for three different types of mud tubes. Working tubes appear from the soil to wood surfaces, often along the foundation. The second are exploratory or migratory tubes that rise from the soil but are not connected to wood structures. The last are drop tubes that extend from the wood structure back into the soil. The Termite Express is no joke. It’s a true freeway of termite tunnels!
Don’t let termites call your home their next meal.