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Eastern Subterranean Termites

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Eastern Subterranean Termites 

The eastern subterranean termite is the most common termite found in North America. They are classified as pests because they feed on cellulose material such as the structural wood in buildings, causing upwards of $5 billion dollars’ worth of damage every year in the United States alone. 

Eastern Subterranean Termite Colonies

Colonies of eastern subterranean termites are organized according to caste. Within these eusocial colonies, there are three main castes: workers, soldiers and reproductives. 

Workers make up the majority of the colony—around 90 to 98 percent of the colony members—and do most of the work as well. Workers do everything from forage for food and water to feeding and grooming all the other termites in the colony. Workers are charged with building the mud tubes within which all the termites travel and are responsible for their maintenance, including keeping the tunnels at the correct temperature and moisture level year-round. They do this all while blind, wingless and sterile. 

Soldiers make up the majority of the remaining colony members. Their sole task is to defend the colony from invaders and to warn all other members of the colony of any possible threat. If soldier termites sense a nearby threat, they will begin banging their heads against the walls of the mud tubes which creates a chain reaction in which all the workers begin to bang their heads and shake their bodies as well, creating a communication thread throughout the colony.  

Eastern Subterranean Termite Habitat

Found in every U.S. state except Alaska, eastern subterranean termites live underground wherever they can find enough organic cellulose material to keep the colony fed. In homes and buildings, they often take up residence in walls, basements, crawl spaces, attics, or any other damp spaces. They will also sometimes take up residence in outbuildings like sheds and garages. 

Signs of termite damage or termite infestation include the appearance of mud tubes along your home’s foundation. Other signs include hollowed or damaged wood or blistering in your walls or flooring.  

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The creator of this review received compensation by RMICPA, LLC on behalf of Terminix®. This review is the opinion of its creator and its claims are not endorsed or evaluated by RMICPA, LLC.

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