- Color: Western subterranean termites range in color from dark brown to yellowish and are generally a fourth of an inch in length, with two hardened and thickened veins located in their front sections. Termites live according to a caste system, with soldier termites closely resembling worker termites in color and general appearance, with the exception of possessing large, brownish-colored heads and strong jaws. Soldier termites are charged with defending the colony against invaders.
- Behavior: Western subterranean termites (Reticulitermes hesperus) infest wood, trees and shrubs, building their colonies below ground. When they invade human-made structures, their infestations can be destructive.
These termites are found in the western United States (California, Idaho, Washington, Nevada), and in the western provinces of Canada (British Columbia), although they have been known to migrate to other areas in North America.
Western subterranean termite infestations are typically not visible and by the time they are noticed, the infestation may be large and extensive damage that can cost a lot of money to repair may have already been done. They take to the air in the form of winged termites called alates in search of new sources of food and places to colonize.
Western subterranean termites are in a continual reproductive life cycle. The queen lays eggs that are nurtured by both queen and king, and are aided by the worker termites. The eggs laid by the queen mature and develop into one of several members of the termite caste system.
HabitatsWestern subterranean termites are generally located in damp, moist areas and build mud tubes leading to sources of wood for feeding. They congregate and multiply in out-of-the-way areas of the home, but can find their way into buildings through cracks in foundations or wherever there is evidence of rotted wood, unrepaired wood shingles on roofs, doorways or wood siding.
Western Subterranean Termite InfestationHomeowners may notice signs that can indicate western subterranean termite activity is nearby, like swarming (flying) termites around the window or outdoor lights. If you notice these warning signs, then it’s likely time to be proactive and request a termite control professional inspect your home for termite activity.
How to Get Rid of Western Subterranean TermitesTaking steps to try to prevent a termite infestation in your home can help. Taking actions like reducing all soil-to-wood contact around your home, removing wood from around your home’s foundation, sealing moisture out of your home and fixing leaks and moisture problems, are all good steps to take for helping prevent termite activity.
However, because termite activity often goes unnoticed until the problem and damage becomes large and expensive, a regular termite inspection from a trained professional is recommended.
Benefits of Professional Terminix Western Subterranean Termite ControlTerminix termite control specialists are trained to identify infestations and effectively treat the home based on what is found.