What Exactly Are Mud Tunnels in a Yard Caused By?

If you discover tubes or tunnels that seem to be made of mud in your yard, you’ve stumbled upon a potentially significant issue — termites. These mud arrangements indicate the existence of a termite colony someplace nearby. If they extend from the floor up to some portion of your dwelling, termites could have invaded your dwelling. Identifying the issue and understanding treatment options are essential steps in dealing with the issue.

Termite Tubes

Termites that dwell below the surface of the ground are generally called subterranean termites. They establish large colonies by burrowing through the ground below ground. A colony types when a queen mates with a male and begins a brand new group, a procedure called swarming. Termites build structures from mud that resemble tubes or tunnels, either on the ground’s surface or leading up from the ground on the surface of a dwelling — for example, on the foundation of a home. These mud conditioners protect the insects in open air and allow them to reach wood — their food supply — which is scarce in the ground.

Termite Identification

If you find mud tubes or seams in your yard, you can follow one of those structures to the point where it emerges from the soil and dig to the ground to confirm that termites are found. The insects are a creamy brown colour, have six legs and are approximately 1/8 inch extended. They have two antennae and possess a narrow oval shape. Occasionally, you may see a bigger insect, about 1 inch in length. This is a reproductive termite, either a female or male, which is several times the magnitude of another termites.

Treatment Options

If you detect the existence of subterranean termites in your property, you have a lot of treatment choices. Liquid termiticides may be implemented around and under the structure, covering all areas where termites might gain access to the home, a process that could involve placing chemicals in trenches or holes dug near the house’s foundation. Termiticides may be either repellent, only stopping the insects from entering, or fatal to the termites. In either case, those should be just be implemented by a licensed professional who is trained in the right application procedure. Termite baits may also help deal with the issue. This involves placing treated wood or other bait-containing items to the soil close to the colony. A baiting system doesn’t necessitate treatment of the home or other structure, but might take longer to be effective.


Subterranean termites have two primary requirements: adequate moisture and a food source. You may prevent an infestation by removing moisture in your home. Keep plumbing in good repair, make certain downspouts direct water well away from the home and move outside mulch back at least 6 inches in the foundation of your property. You can also refuse the insects their food supply by keeping piles of firewood stacked some distance from your home and removing any dead tree stumps or other wood debris in the property. It’s also essential to prevent any direct contact between wood constructions like a porch or deck and the soil.

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