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Eastern Subterranean Termite


Actual Size: 10 mm

Characteristics: Brownish-black to black body, translucent milky wings.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Yes

Habitat: Lives in the ground and builds mud tubes to access homes. In structures, can be found in interior walls, basements, crawl spaces, and damp areas.


  • Considered the most damaging termite species in the United States.
  • Termites consume cellulose, the main structural components of plant cells.
  • Over $5 billion in damage and treatment costs to properties in the U.S. annually.

Eastern Subterranean Termites in Salina

The eastern subterranean termite is a social insect and one of the most common and destructive pests in Salina. Due to its wide distribution, it is considered the most economically important and damaging species across the United States. This is because termites consume cellulose, the main structural component of plant cells. Therefore, any wood material in a home is a potential food source, but it may also damage non-wood material in search of food. Termites rarely appear outside of their colonies deep within the structure of a building, so infestations can be difficult to detect until the damage becomes severe.

Eastern Subterranean Termite Habitat

In nature, eastern subterranean termites live underground. In structures, they live in walls, basements, crawl spaces, and other damp areas. Termites swarm in the spring to establish new colonies. After fluttering about for a short time around light-emitting windows and doors, the termites detach their wings and pair off, becoming king and queen of a new termite colony. A common sign of termites is the presence of mud tubes, inside or outside of a home. These earth-colored tubes act as a protected runway from the earth to the wood they feed upon.

Eastern Subterranean Termite Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Termites don’t bite or spread diseases. However, because termites consume cellulose, any wood material in a house is a potential food source. This can cause major structural damage which will be very expensive to repair. Always contact your local termite exterminators for help with eastern subterranean termite problems.

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