Why Do Termites Build Mud Tubes?
These insects build tunnels to make their ongoing search for food safer and more successful. Termite mud tubes provide the following advantages:
- Moisture – By staying in contact with damp soil, the pests remain hydrated as they forage or explore.
- Protection – A termite mud tube also keeps the insects camouflaged from predators.
- Access – Worker termites make tubes that stretch over barriers, like concrete foundations or plastic siding, to access new sources of wood.
What Do Termite Mud Tubes Look Like?
The pests build their pencil-thin tunnels out of soil, saliva, and feces. Older termite mud tubes are tan and may be dry or brittle, while newly built tunnels are usually dark brown.
Active shelter tubes linking underground nests to food sources have thick walls to support high termite traffic. Homeowners can check for activity by cracking the tunnels open. A termite mud tube filled with soldiers and workers indicates a serious infestation.
Termite Mud Tubes on Ceilings
Aerial colonies are rare but can occur in buildings with flat roofs that collect rainwater or in other areas where moisture is plentiful. If the space offers enough food and moisture, a winged swarmer termite pair may start a nest in the attic or among wooden rafters. When this happens, residents often see termite mud tubes on ceilings or walls.
Damage from these pests can go unseen for years, resulting in costly repairs. Termite mud tubes on ceilings, walls, or foundations are crucial warning signs for homeowners. Contact the experts at Western Pest Services at the first sign of termite activity.