Sandpiper March 2023 Blog Post: Swarming Subterraneans!

A termite infestation can be a homeowner's worst nightmare. There are three main kinds of termites found in Florida: Drywood, Subterranean, and Dampwood. Subterranean termites are the most destructive termite and can cause extensive damage to homes. According to the Florida Department of Agriculture, worldwide, subterranean termites are estimated to cost billions of dollars in damages each year. There are three species of subterranean termites found in Florida: the eastern subterranean termite, the Formosan termite, and the Asian termite. We are going to talk about what subterranean termites are, the signs of them around your home, and how to prevent an infestation.

What are Subterranean Termites?

True to their name, subterranean termites reside in colonies beneath the ground in the soil. Subterranean termites are approximately 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch in size, have six legs and a pair of antennae, and are dark brown in color. They have transparent wings and unsegmented, oval-shaped bodies.

Eastern subterranean termite (Reticulitermes flavipes)

Each subterranean colony can have millions of termites. Colonies follow a caste system, which is divided into the soldier caste, the reproductive caste, and the worker caste. Subterranean termites require moisture in order to survive. This is why their colonies are underground, because of the moisture the soil provides. To get above ground, these termites construct what are called mud tubes to travel through. 

Signs of Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites infest wood from beneath the ground, which makes them difficult to detect. However, there are some signs that can indicate their presence.

Mud Tubes

Mud tubes are what subterranean termites use to travel above ground. 

The termites make these out of saliva, frass (their feces), and soil.

Mud Tube

The tubes run from the ground up a structure and are a strong indication of subterranean termite presence. Traveling through these allows the termites to stay moist. They use these because if they are exposed to too dry of an environment, they will dry up and die.

Flying Termites

  • Termites are active year-round. During swarming season, lots of termites of the reproductive caste will make an appearance outside of the colony. Subterranean termites swarm typically in the spring and summer months. This is when you may notice the presence of termites in your area, as you see them flying around swarming, searching for a mate.

Wings & Frass

  • Termite swarmers have small, translucent wings. Finding these termite wings around windowsills, doors, or in spiderwebs can indicate a termite presence in your home. Additionally, seeing frass, or termite feces, is an indication. Frass closely resembles small piles of sawdust.

Homeowner Subterranean Termite Prevention

  • The Florida Department of Agriculture recommends having your home inspected for termites annually by a licensed pest control company.

  • Wood or stucco on your property that touches soil should be pressure treated, such as a wooden fence.

  • Mulch and landscape plants should be kept away from the immediate exterior of your home, due to the moisture it provides the termites.

  • Cracks in the foundation or exterior of the home should be repaired.

  • Wood should be stored away from the home.

  • Remove any tree stumps from your yard.

  • Water leaks should be repaired as fast as possible.

Pest Control Prevention


  • One of the greatest ways to prevent subterranean termites is with a preconstruction soil treatment of the structure or home. This pretreatment creates a barrier that helps prevent subterranean from entering a home in the first place. Ask us about our pretreatment services!

Sentricon® - The Standalone Termite Solution

Sandpiper Pest Control is privileged to be a select Sentricon-certified and approved business. The Sentricon® system is the No. 1 brand in termite protection.

If you are interested in termite protection for your home, Sandpiper Pest Control is now offering the following services in bundling packages with Sentricon service for a Sentricon initial installation discount:

Quarterly GHP service, fire ant control service, premium monthly lawn service, and monthly mosquito service.

  • Pair 1 service: $150 off a Sentricon installation.

  • Pair 2 services: $200 off a Sentricon installation.

  • Pair 3 services: $250 off a Sentricon installation.

Check out our website's page on Sentricon for more information or to fill out a contact form!

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