Termite Mud Tubes

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The thin brown line running down the side of this foundation is a termite mud tube. In New England we deal with the Eastern Subterranean termite. This termite must be near soil at all times, so to move up into and out of your home the termite (the size of a small ant, lacking pigment so referred to as a grain of rice as a visual reference) builds mud shelter tubes by placing grains of soil cemented together with saliva to protect the termites from drying out. Even inside the wood they consume they carrying in soil and plaster it against the walls to control humidity in the wood. They need the soil to manage the moisture in their environment. Exposed termite shelter tubes like this can easily be overlooked against gray foundations or when the height of the grade is much closer to or in contact with the siding of the structure.