Please see our video below of an excellent example of a termite drop tube. One of our technicians found this tube in a basement on a recent inspection. We thought we would share it with you.

Termite mud tubes are constructed by the worker termite by “cementing” particles of soil and wood together using the termite saliva and liquid anal secretions. Also, termite workers maintain and repair mud tubes that are damaged. The mud tubes protect termites from low-moisture environments and predators (primarily ants). Mud tubes generally fall into one of three categories.

  • working tubes are constructed from the nest in the soil to wooden structures and they may travel up concrete or stone foundations; they are built to provide a sheltered avenue for termites as they move from the ground to a good source of food. Working tubes are enlarged as more and more of the colony members use these tubes to visit the food source and return to the colony below ground.

  • exploratory and migratory tubes arise from the soil but do not connect to wood structures; Exploratory tubes are often abandoned if they do not lead to an above-ground food source or something has disturbed the termite’s desire to continue construction and foraging.

  • drop tubes extend from wooden structures or food source back to the soil; drop tubes look somewhat like suspended calcium deposits that hang from the ceiling of a cave

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