Termite mud tubes are a clear sign that subterranean termites have established an infestation. Termite mud tubes are often found under crawl spaces and in basements of infested homes. These tubes are protective tunnels termites use to travel from below ground into the wooden structure they have begun to infest. This tubing usually starts from the ground as a single tunnel and branches outward into multiple tubes as it climbs the basement wall. This hollow tube is built by the termites out of mud, feces and saliva. Subterranean termites maintain their colonies underground and use these tubes as access points to reach the wood they are using as a food source.
A tube can be broken to determine if there is an active termite presence in the tubing. Inactive tubes are dry, brittle, and break easily. Termites will also repair the broken sections of tubing if it is actively used. Mud tubing indicates an active infestation; however, the absence of mud tubes is not an accurate determination of whether a structure is infested. Tubes can be hidden from view in cracks or behind siding. Structures should always be inspected regularly, but if a mud tube is located, immediate professional inspection is highly recommended.