Signs of a Subterranean Termite Infestation

Subterranean termites infest structures by drilling mud tubes through the soil to access submerged wood beams and foundations. These worm-like termites nest in the ground and form crown colonies. Crown colonies then create elaborate mud tube systems to tunnel towards the submerged parts of a structure. They will then use the structure as a source of food and to set up satellite colonies. Subterranean termite damage can threaten the safety of a structure by weakening support beams and foundations. They require immediate intervention to prevent structural failure.

Only a state licensed termite inspector can determine if your property has subterranean termites, but it’s time to call in the professionals at Southland Pest Control if you see the following signs:

  • Mud tubes
  • Wood shaving piles
  • Moist/wet ground space near the base of a structure
subterranean termite control riverside
subterranean termite pest control riverside

Termite Inspection Reports

If you’re getting ready to buy or sell a property in LA & Riverside county, you will need a full termite inspection report. Our licensed termite inspectors will come to your property and thoroughly investigate the structure for termite damage and signs of infestation. Once that is complete, our technicians will provide the report to the buyer and/or seller. We provide home inspections and commercial real estate inspections.

Subterranean Termite Treatment Options

Since subterranean termites primarily live in the ground and enter a structure from beneath a cement foundation, the first method of treatment is an injection in the soil around the base of the structure to destroy the mud tubes and crown colonies. Once that has been completed, other treatment options may be recommended to rid the structural interior of these termites.

termite fumigation riverside


During fumigation, the building is tented for 24-48 hours. Vikane gas is then pumped into the sealed structure, replacing the oxygen. Vikane penetrates hard to reach areas like walls voids, attic spaces, eaves and door frames. After treatment, our technicians will remove the tent and air out the structure. We will thoroughly inspect the structure before we allow occupants to return. Fumigation service is warrantied for 3 years after service.

termite heat treatment riverside

Heat Treatment

Heat is a relatively new treatment option for termites. Much like fumigation, heat will penetrate areas of the structure that cannot be reached by traditional pesticide applications. Heat treatments can be completed in a matter of hours and do not require occupants to be out of the house for more than an afternoon.

termite spot treatment riverside

Local Treatment

Local treatment is a great option for small scale infestations or smaller budgets. After a thorough inspection is completed, our technicians may recommend localized spot treatment based on their findings. You will not need to leave the house for this treatment and prep, if any, will be minimal.

orange oil termite treatment riverside

Orange Oil

Orange oil is a non-traditional treatment option used to rid exposed wood structures of termites. It works by injecting the product into the wood structures. Orange oil destroys termites and their eggs quickly and without using traditional pesticide methods like fumigation. Service time is quick and easy and doesn’t require you to be out of the home during treatment.


Termite Wood Damage & Structural Defects

Natural forces like earthquakes and tornadoes can cause a wake of destruction. Fortunately, they have taught us something about the kind of home they are most likely to damage. It turns out that strong forces “pick on” homes and buildings that have structural defects. Homes that are well built and maintained are more likely to come through a major calamity in much better shape.

A structural defect can be the result of a design or construction flaw and makes your home weaker. Weakening can also be caused by anything that attacks the structural wood. This includes beetles, fungi, termites and carpenter ants. Unchecked, these pests can reduce the strength of wood by as much as 80%, leaving your home susceptible to widespread damage. The stronger the force, the more likely that force will cause severe, and perhaps irreparable, damage to the home.

The porch column that has a masonry exterior can conceal termite- damaged wood inside. The column could break during an earthquake. Had the wood been intact, the column may very well have come through unharmed. Be vigilant in keeping your home in good repair and free of wood-destroying pests. Don’t hesitate to have inaccessible areas opened so they can be inspected for hidden damage.

Termite Trouble Spots

Any structure with wood looks and smells like a big juicy steak to termites. These pests have an uncanny ability to locate wood both by smell and by random searching, even when dirt, cement, or stucco hides the wood. There are certain situations that encourage problems with termites. Here are some common termite trouble spots.

  • Cracks in concrete foundations and foundation walls allow termites hidden access to wood.
  • Soil in contact with wood allows termites easy access. This includes posts set in the ground, soil pushed up against the wood in a structure, concrete porches filled with soil that rests against wood structural members, wooden porch steps that rest on soil, etc. Do-it-yourselfers often erect wooden trellises or fences with posts directly in the ground, and then connect these to the house.
  • Unsolved moisture problems like poor grading that directs water toward a structure, dripping faucets, and leaking pipes all attract termites, which need moisture to survive. Shrubbery or vines that block the airflow through ventilation openings also cause problems.
  • Extra wood like tree stumps and large dead roots, buried form boards, wood chip mulching, and firewood stacked on the ground attracts termites. The pests get started in these, then find their way into a structure.

These are just some of the many, many situations that can lead to trouble with termites. A professional Southland Pest Control’s inspection can spot these and other, less obvious conditions that can lead to problems with various wood-damaging pests.