Eastern subterranean termites, the termite species Reticulitermes flavipes, are trouble for any homeowner. They can cause extensive structural damage, and it’s difficult to spot them before they’ve caused significant destruction. Homeowners insurance policies usually don’t cover the costs for repairs from a termite infestation because insurance companies consider it the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure a pest-free home. If you suspect you have termites, you’re not alone. These pests cause billions of dollars in structural damage every year. It’s essential to protect your home from further damage and get rid of these pests quickly and effectively.

Let the eastern termite experts at Hulett break down how to get rid of eastern subterranean termites so that you can take back your home.

Eastern Subterranean Termite Appearance

These social insects create nests called colonies, and the insects’ appearances vary based on their function in the colony. The bugs are divided into groups or castes of insects with different jobs. The termite colony has three castes:

  • Workers
  • Soldiers
  • Reproductives

It can be challenging to spot termites because they lurk behind your walls and underground. In the early spring, you may see winged reproductives who leave the colony to establish their own nest elsewhere. These winged insects swarm from their colonies in attempts of making a new colony in your home.


Worker termites are small, wingless insects that are cream in color. They are around one-eighth of an inch long. These termites are responsible for finding food for the colony and feeding the colony. The workers are also responsible for taking care of the young.


At a quarter-inch in length, soldiers are slightly larger than workers and have large jaws to fight intruders. Their sole responsibility is to defend the colony against intruders, such as ants.


Alates, or swarmers, are winged reproductives that leave the colony during the swarming season (spring and summer, primarily). They are dark brown to black and around a half-inch in length. Their success rate for establishing new eastern subterranean termite colonies is low, but to combat this, thousands of swarmers are released from the colony, of which some are successful in starting a new colony.

Queens & Kings

Primary queens and kings spend their entire lives in the colony. Kings remain the size of the average worker but may darken in color. Queens also darken in color and grow to become the largest member of the entire colony prior to laying eggs. Termite queens can reach up to four inches.

How to Recognize Termites and Termite Damage

Eastern subterranean termite damageDuring swarming season, swarmers fly away from the colony and land on wood to start a new colony. The swarmers then shed their wings to better crawl into cracks and crevices, which is why shed wings is often the first sign of termite activity a homeowner sees. It’s easy to mistake the winged termites for winged ants. You can tell the difference between termite alates and winged-ants by examining the insect’s waist. Termites have broader waists than ants, which have a wasp-like, narrow one. Termites also have straight antenna feelers, unlike the L-shaped antennae of ants.

How to Get Rid of Subterranean Termites: What Hulett Does

Termite infestations are high stakes for homeowners. These destructive pests can cause thousands of dollars in damage and threaten the structural integrity of your most significant investment. That’s why it’s best to get the help of a pest control professional. You ensure that the termites are removed effectively and quickly.

You get a free termite inspection when you call Hulett, a termite control company serving Boca Raton, Delray Beach, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, Port St. Lucie, and Fort Pierce and throughout South Florida. A friendly and experienced technician will visit your property to look for signs of an infestation, identify the species of the bugs, and recommend a treatment plan.

Hulett offers a range of termite treatments for both drywood and subterranean termites, including no tent and tenting options for drywood termites, and our liquid defense system and baiting systems provide you with highly effective methods for eliminating subterranean termites that won’t inconvenience you or require you to leave your home.

Your technician will also let you know any factors contributing to the infestation on your property. Here are just a few things they might recommend:

  • Remove dead vegetation: Remove dead shrubs and tree stumps and roots, which attract termites to your property.
  • Stop leaks: Leaks from the plumbing, household appliances, gutters, and downspouts can saturate the wood with water. Eliminating any moisture that accumulates around your home’s foundation is a priority.
  • Trim landscaping: The landscaping around your home’s perimeter should be trimmed so that the plants do not touch the structure. Branches can act as a bridge that provides a route of entry for termites. Wood mulches near the foundation can act as a lure for these pests.
  • Close cracks: Any holes or cracks in your home’s foundation provide an entryway for termites. Fill or repair these openings.
  • Move woodpiles: Do not place woodpiles against the perimeter of your home. If possible, put the wood in a location off the ground.

Don’t go it alone with ineffective DIY termite control and give these bugs more time to feed on your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

At Hulett, we hear many questions about termites. We’ve gathered the answers to just a few of the most frequently asked questions that we get. If you don’t see your question addressed here, give us a call, and we’ll be happy to get you an answer. 

Are Eastern Subterranean Termites Dangerous?

Fortunately, these bugs do not sting, bite, or transmit diseases to humans. Termite damage can create hazards around your home. If they target structural beams, or other vulnerable parts of your home, it can result in hazardous conditions. Termites may cause you stress and anxiety as you worry about the damage they inflict on your biggest investment... your home.

What Time of Year Do Termites Tend to Be Active?

Termites can feed on your home all year long, but you’re most likely to notice them during the swarming season in the spring and summer. The “swarmers” among the colony will leave it in the spring in search of a new location for their next colony. The swarming insects don’t damage your home, but they can establish a colony that could eventually lead to termites destroying wood in your home and around your property.

Just Call Hulett

At Hulett, we’re a family-owned business with over 50 years of experience treating termite infestations in Boca Raton, Delray Beach, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, Port St. Lucie, and Fort Pierce and throughout South Florida communities. We’re proud to have helped so many homeowners eradicate these pests. Bugs quickly adapt to their environment and pest control methods, so we make education and training a priority. Through Bugs University, every Hulett technician is trained on the latest methods, techniques, and products for eliminating termites. They have the know-how to make a customized treatment plan for your home that will quickly get rid of the infestation. Our termite treatments are effective, convenient, and affordable. When termites infest your home, just call Hulett!