How Big Are Subterranean Termites?

Subterranean termites are just one of those destructive critters that invade your home. And to properly get rid of termites, you should know everything about them, such as their sizes. That is why we conducted thorough research to help you feed your curiosity.

The body length of subterranean termites ranges between 1/8" to 1". Swarmers range between 1/4" and 1". Soldiers and workers don't have wings, unlike the swarmers. The subterranean termite workers' length is 1/4" or less with a cream-colored body.

Aside from knowing the sizes of subterranean termites, you should also know the signs if they are already infesting your home. Plus, it would also be best to learn about how you can get rid of them. Significantly damaging your home is the last thing you would want them to do. Please read on; we'd love to help you out!

Huge Subterranean termites photographed inside their nest, How Big Are Subterranean Termites?

Subterranean Termites: Appearance & Size

Workers, soldiers, and reproductives are the three different types of subterranean termites. And these types have physical distinctions.

The king, queen, and alates are the reproductives. The queen is the largest among all, while the king is far smaller.

Huge subterranean termites photographed up close

Alates are also known as swarmers. They have dark brown to almost black body color. Additionally, their bodies are long and translucent with slightly milk-colored wings. Their bodies usually measure 1/4" to 1/2".

On the other hand, subterranean termite workers are about 1/4" in length and are color cream.

Moreover, soldiers have big mandibles. They also have rectangular heads with a broad and flat body. In addition, their body has the same color as the workers, but their heads are darker or brownish.

What Are The Signs Of A Subterranean Infestation

Huge subterranean termites eating away wood

Subterranean termites can be destructive either indoors or outdoors. The infestation signs you can look for are:

Mud Tubes

The presence of mud tubes outside your home signifies subterranean infestation. They look like tunnels with a composition of soil and wood. These stubborn termites construct mud tubes to shield them from drying out as they move from one place to another.

Soft Wood

Another indication of termite infestation is the soft wood in your home. When you tap this soft wood, it will sound hollow. The wood structures will also blister or darken, and the paint will bubble or become uneven.

Additionally, you will notice some small piles of feces that look like sawdust close to the nest of the termites.

The swarmers will leave their wings on windowsills or doors, which means they have successfully entered your home.

How To Kill Termites Naturally

Up close photo subterranean termites

Termites are probably your worst enemy if you love wooden furniture or any wooden structures. So, it would be best to know the natural ways to eliminate them immediately to avoid the destruction of your belongings.

1. Boric Acid

A huge crystal of boric acid

Boric acid is one of the effective ways to get rid of those destructive termites. It is a natural pesticide and wood preservative and doesn't literally eliminate termites on contact.

This acid can only kill termites if they feed on it. The acid will prevent the termites from pulling nutrients from the foods that they consume, no matter how much food intake they will have.

Furthermore, boric acid comes in powder form. You can use it as it is or dilute it in water. It would be best to use a mask and eye protection when using this. Also, be extra careful around children and pregnant women.

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2. Cayenne Pepper

A small pile of Cayenne pepper on a white background

Cayenne pepper has an active chemical called Capsaicin, making it highly spicy and hot. This chemical will kill the termites by damaging their nervous system intensely.

If the infested area is small, you can just sprinkle the cayenne pepper generously. Repeat the process until you notice that the termites are already killed.

Another way to use cayenne pepper is to make a paste by mixing it with vegetable oil. Apply the paste to the infected spot for four to five days and see how well it works.

3. Cardboard Bait

Another natural way of eliminating termites is using cardboard bait. All you have to do is place cardboard in the infested area and wait for the termites to eat it. After that, you can bring the infested cardboard outside and burn it.

This method will not eliminate all the termites instantly, so you have to do it numerous times. Additionally, you can opt to put some poison to make it more effective. But you should ask for a professional's advice.

4. Nematodes

Two nematodes photographed under a microscope

Nematodes or roundworms are so tiny that you can hardly see them with your naked eye. They are not really connected to actual worms, though. Nematodes are an excellent option to fight and get rid of those termites.

Nematodes kill the termites by injecting deadly bacteria or invading the host, parasitizing then eating them.

The advantage of nematodes is that they do not harm the wooden structures and are especially not harmful to humans and pets because they die after they finish their purpose.

To use these worms, be cautious in mixing them into a huge bucket of water. Mix them thoroughly until you get an even blend. After that, fill a spray bottle with the mixture and spray it on the infested locations.

The wood will absorb the mixture, and the nematodes will spread out. Moisten the wood adequately.

However, before using this, you should conduct thorough research since there are various types of nematodes for a particular kind of pest.

5. Diatomaceous Earth

A bowl of Diatomaceous earth

You can use diatomaceous earth to kill termites effectively. This sand is harmless for humans. However, it is pretty dangerous to termites because of its razor-sharp edges.

These sharp edges will cut through the outer layer of the termites when they come in touch and let the moisture drain from their bodies. Diatomaceous earth can absorb all the moisture from the termites' bodies. And that will mean they won't be able to survive since they lack water balance.

You can utilize diatomaceous earth outdoors, indoors, and even with food.

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6. White Vinegar

White vinegar

Create a mixture of two lemons and a half cup of vinegar and put it in a spray bottle. Generously spray on mud hole entrances or into the visible mounds.

You can also spray this mixture on any wooden structures you think termites might infest. If you apply it correctly, expect the wood to absorb the solution to eliminate the termites. Repeat the process for a few days.

7. Neem Oil

Neem oil in bottle and neem leaf on wooden table

The power of this oil is it can stop the reproductive system cycles of insects. When a termite consumes the oil, its hormonal system will change. And with that, the termite will forget to eat and mate.

It stops the production of eggs, which cease the termites from reproducing since the older termites die. Neem oil also produces an odor that termites hate. And that means the termites won't go into the treated spots anymore.

To create a mixture, buy raw or crude neem oil, then emulsify it using liquid soap: Mix 0.1 oz liquid soap, 0.2 oz neem oil, and 0.3 gal water. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and use it as necessary.

Furthermore, you must use the mixture immediately since the ingredients will begin to break down after eight hours.

Read more: "3 Types Of Neem Oil [And Common Brands]."

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8. Orange Oil

Orange oil extract

Orange oil is most effective against termites when used before completely taking over a colony. This technique only functions locally, which means it only acts in the locations where you will apply the oil.

Additionally, you might need to dig holes and pour the oil into the mud tubes or infested spots. For this to have an impact, you might need to repeat this process multiple times and in different locations.

While this natural solution is excellent above ground, you will probably need to use additional methods of elimination if there is an underground infestation.

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9. Salt

A tablespoon of salt

Salt can terrify even the boldest termites, despite the fact that it appears to be rather safe. Concentrated salt eliminates termites by dehydrating them, which results in their demise.

Simply combine warm water and salt in a standard quart jar and stir until the blend is smooth and even. The more salt you put in, the better solution you will produce.

Putting this salty water mixture into a regular syringe and squirting it directly into any entrance or exiting ports you have found would be best. After applying the mixture to the primary infestation areas, sprinkle it around your home or any other significant areas of concern to utilize it as a preventative measure.

Although this approach will probably not eradicate the termites completely, it will be a decent choice in terms of prevention or for lesser termite infestations.

Wrap It All Up

Huge Subterranean termites photographed inside their nest

If you have completely read this post, you can conclude that termites are indeed small but terrible. They are so tiny, but they damage your home considerably.

We hope you find this post helpful. And before you go, you might want to check these posts out!

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