The Eastern subterranean termite is one of the most common termite species that cause problems for Alabama homeowners. Understanding this termite’s habits can help you keep your property termite-free.

These are the key characteristics of the Eastern subterranean termite and methods to prevent infestation.

Detecting Eastern subterranean termites

If you see noticeable termite damage, you likely have an infestation that has persisted for several years. You cannot always see these termites with the naked eye. For this reason, new homeowners should always have a comprehensive termite inspection before purchasing a property. Affected wood may become hollow or appear rotted. You may also notice earth-colored tubes on walls and floors, which the insects use to travel.

Worker termites, only about a quarter-inch long, are off-white or yellow but rarely seen. You may see the larger kings and queens swarming in flight during mating season, which occurs in the spring in Alabama. These winged bugs are black or dark brown and can be up to a half-inch long.

Preventing infestation

Store woodpiles in a shed or on an elevated platform off the ground. Use non-cellulose or pressure-treated construction wood for structures that touch the ground, such as your home’s fence, deck, or porch.

Remove leaf piles from your yard promptly. Clear dead tree stumps, bushes and vegetation before termites make their homes in these areas.

Construction errors, such as issues with the grading of your home site, can lead to termite problems. If you notice these issues with a new-construction home, have them repaired before they cause complications.