Out of all the household pests many homeowners encounter, termites are notoriously among the worst. In fact, termites cause billions of dollars worth of damage to homes each year, making them some of the most expensive pests to treat.

Because termites spend much of their time underground, many people don’t even realize they have a termite infestation until they have already caused significant damage to their property. While drywood termites can cause a lot of destruction on their own, subterranean termites in Maryland are much worse, as their colonies grow rapidly and can multiply in just a few days.

If you suspect you have a subterranean termite infestation, here are some telltale signs to look out for, as well as ways to get rid of them and prevent them from returning.

Spotting the Signs of a Termite Infestation

One of the biggest indicators of a termite infestation is the presence of mud tubes on our inside your home. Mud tubes are small, pencil-sized tunnels that termites build using dirt and wood to protect themselves and connect their colonies. Mud tubes are often found under window sills and porches and should only be removed by a pest control professional.

You may also notice wood damage or peeling paint on your home, another common sign of termites. Termites produce moisture when they eat, and this moisture can cause paint to bubble and peel.

They also feed on the cellulose fibers in wood, which can cause damage to your porch, window sills, or siding of your home.

Once you spot the signs of a termite infestation in your house, the question becomes how do you get rid of them?

How to Get Rid of Subterranean Termites

1. Termiticides

One of the most common treatments for termites is the use of termiticides.

Termiticides are chemicals that bait and exterminate termites in an extremely effective way. Termiticides come in both liquid and foam forms and are not harmful to humans or pets once dry.

With that said, it’s important that termiticides are properly administered by a professional. And since time is of the essence, it’s important to eliminate termites as soon as possible.

2. Call a Professional

While it can be tempting to try to take matters into your own hands, getting rid of subterranean termites is a serious job that should ultimately be left to a professional. Contact a reputable pest control company for termite control if you suspect termites or notice any damage in and around your home.

A professional will perform an inspection so they can apply the proper treatment to get rid of termites fast and so that they don’t come back.

3. Boric Acid

If you do decide to take matters into your own hands, there are a few useful products, though proper administration is key.

Boric acid is very popular as a less-harmful way to kill pests. Boric acid dehydrates termites and shuts down their nervous system, making it an effective treatment for termite infestations.

Boric acid is usually applied by spraying it in the cracks and crevices of floors, walls, and ceilings.

4. Termite Barriers

Termite barriers can be effective as a treatment and preventative measure. There are two types of barriers you need to be aware of:

  • Chemical Barriers: A chemically-treated zone surrounding the perimeter of a home that prevents termites from entering your house.
  • Physical Barriers: A moisture barrier that is installed around the perimeter of a home and prevents termites from coming onto your property.

5. Termite Tarps

Termite tarps, also known as fumigation tarps, are tarps that are placed over a home before fumigation. These tarps help to contain the fumigant as it spreads through the home to kill any termites that may have infested a residence.

For the most part, termite tarps are rarely used for subterranean termites and can only be used by professionals.

6. Nematodes

Nematodes, or roundworms, are worms that are introduced to termite nests for the sole purpose of killing the termites. While nematodes are thin and microscopic, they are extremely effective in killing termites and have been used as a reliable form of pest control for years.

7. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is commonly used to remove unwanted material from drinking water, but did you know it can also be used for effectively killing termites? To use diatomaceous earth, simply sprinkle it near areas where you suspect termites, and wait for them to crawl over it. This method kills termites by dehydrating them through penetration of their exoskeleton.

For the most part, DIY termite treatment methods are fairly ineffective unless left up to the hands of a professional. Instead, homeowners can take control of an infestation by preventing termites in the first place.

How to Prevent Termites from Returning

1. Conduct Termite Inspections

Conducting routine termite inspections is an important way to prevent termites from returning to your home. A trusted pest control specialist will be able to inspect your home by looking in places where termites commonly congregate and determine whether you have an active infestation or if you are at risk of one developing.

2. Invest in the Sentricon System

The Sentricon System is a popular and effective method for exterminating termites. The system works by placing bait stations in the ground outside of your home in order to lure termites. The termites will then unknowingly carry a poisonous substance back to their colony and spread it to the other termites, killing them all.

Our Czar Guard plan offers the Sentricon System and can be purchased at a few different price levels depending on your unique budget and needs.

3. Be Wary of Mulch

Be careful when laying down mulch outside of your home, as mulch spread over three feet deep can attract termites by creating an inviting environment for them. Termites can burrow into deep layers of mulch to protect themselves from harsh weather, allowing them to make their way into your home.

4. Inspect Wood Constantly

Be sure to regularly inspect any wood in and around your home for signs of termite damage. If you notice your wood looking damaged or unusual, reach out to a trusted pest control professional as soon as possible.

5. Seal Cracks

Use caulk or foam sealant on any cracks or crevices in your home to prevent termites from entering. While this is not an entirely foolproof method, you should regularly check for any possible entryways into your home and seal them to lower your chances of termites finding their way inside.

6. Eliminate Excess Moisture

If you live in a humid region, using a dehumidifier is a great way to eliminate excess moisture and prevent termites from entering your home. Turning on the air conditioning during the hot summer months can also help to eliminate excess moisture in your home to prevent termites.

7. Clean Gutters and Yard Debris

Cleaning your gutters and removing yard debris is another good way to prevent termites from returning to your home. Any excess water or moist, softened wood around your home can attract termites, so keeping these areas as clean as possible is important.

If you suspect you may be dealing with a subterranean termite infestation, contact a pest control professional immediately. Ignoring the problem or waiting to seek treatment will only make the infestation worse, so it is important to act quickly when dealing with termites.


What chemical kills subterranean termites?

Termiticides are strong chemicals that are commonly used to kill subterranean termites. Other treatments, such as using boric acid or diatomaceous earth, can also be effective when treating a termite infestation.

What’s the difference between drywood and subterranean termites?

While both types of termites are unpleasant to deal with, subterranean termites cause significantly more damage than drywood termites. In fact, most residential home damage is caused by subterranean termites, as they nest in the ground and travel into your home using mud tubes.

How do you identify a subterranean termite?

Subterranean termites vary in color, from creamy white to dark brown or black. They measure at about ⅛ of an inch long and have long, oval-shaped bodies.