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Subterranean Termites (Rhinotermitidae)

What are subterranean termites?

Subterranean termites cause the most property damage of any termite species, and you can find them throughout the United States. Within this species are three distinct types to be aware of when dealing with these destructive pests in Oklahoma. These three types are reproductives, workers, and soldiers.


This class includes the queen, king, and alates. The queen is the largest termite, while the king is notably smaller. The alates are also known as swarmers and possess nearly black colored bodies and wings. They generally measure between one-quarter and one-half an inch in length.


These termites top out at a quarter of an inch in length and have cream-colored bodies. The workers have small jaws designed to chew away at wood and move various materials.


The soldier termites are similar in color to the workers but possess a large mandible, rectangular head, and a flat, wide body. Also, their head is a darker color than worker termites.

Are subterranean termites dangerous?

Termites don't represent a direct threat to your health or safety. However, they are a significant threat to the safety of your building. Termites feed on wood and are more than capable of eating away at your home if left unchecked long enough.

Even worse, their colonies can grow quickly and can go undetected for years thanks to their habit of remaining in the wood, which leads to costly damage before people are even aware there's a problem.

How do I know if I have a subterranean termite problem? 

Detection is often difficult, which only heightens the problem. However, there are some common signs to look for, which include:

  • Mud tubes on the building's exterior
  • Soft wood in the home that sounds hollow when tapped
  • Darkening or blistering of wood structures
  • Bubbling paint
  • Frass (termite feces that resembles sawdust) near the nest
  • Discarded wings near windowsills or doors

Where do subterranean termites live? 

Subterranean termites require contact with the soil in order to live. As such, they will live in either underground colonies or wet locations above the ground. They're known to build tunnels to reach their food.

What do subterranean termites eat?

No matter where they are, termites will feast on wood and related materials such as wallpaper, plastics, and plant-based fabric.

How do I get rid of subterranean termites? 

If you suspect an infestation is already underway, the only recourse is to work with trained professionals to remove them from the premises safely. With over 45 years of combined experience, our team is equipped and ready to provide the treatment plan you need to live termite-free. Reach out to us to get an estimate for your termite problems in Oklahoma City, OK today.

How can I prevent a subterranean termite infestation?

The best way to remain protected is to prevent the infestation from happening in the first place. Implement the following tips to keep your building safe: 

  • Eliminate standing water in or around the building, which includes repairing leaks.
  • Repair air conditioner leaks.
  • Maintain and clean out the gutters to prevent moisture from seeping into the wood.
  • Perform needed repairs around the perimeter of the building.
  • Remove damp or rotting wood from your property.

Learn more about our home pest control options and commercial pest management solutions.

Helpful Articles

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How Dangerous Is It To Have Termites In Oklahoma City?

Most Commonly Told Myths About the Termites In Oklahoma City

Here’s What You Shouldn’t Do About Termites In Oklahoma City

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