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Mud Tube Formation 3.Drop tube – path from wood back to soil A mud tube is made of small pieces of soil and wood and most commonly used by subterranean termites. It helps protect termites from predators and dry environments while traveling between a food source and the nest. It is possible to find a termite mud tube that is no longer active.

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Termites construct shelter tubes, also known as earthen tubes or mud tubes, that start from the ground. These shelter tubes can be found on walls and other structures. Constructed by termites during the night, a time of higher humidity, these tubes provide protection to termites from potential predators, especially ants.

Mud tubes or shelter tubes are proof of termite infestation, but their absence does not necessarily mean that a structure is free of termites. The insects may reach sills and other wood members through cracks or voids in the foundation wall, under the outside stucco, or from earth-filled porches, steps, terraces, or patios.

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Of course, tubes that are built in already existing structures, such as within concrete cracks or rotting wood, take significantly less time as the termites don’t need to use as much mud. If you have a termite infestation, simply destroying the tubes won’t be enough – that will only slow them down.

Termites don’t survive long in sunlight so they move through pencil thin mud tubes. They’re traveling from their nest located in a moist area to their food source – wood. How are termite mud tubes made? Termites are fairly anti-social, preferring to travel with other termites in mud tubes and away from other insects and the elements.

A picture of a termite shelter tube at this house. See it? Maybe you see the termite tube now. The termites are entering this house by that mud tube as some people call them. Here you see we broke the tube open to expose the termites traveling inside it. Click on the picture to see the worker termites in the termite shelter tube.

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Formosan termites invading the joists that hold together the flooring and the walls of the Tiny Termite House. Learn more:

Jennie Oliver