Termite Mud Tubes: What Do They Look Like and How To Get Rid of Them

Termites are considered silent destroyers.


Simply because they accurately wear down at your house, often going hidden until there’s a major damage. From walls to wood finishes, a group of termites will eat their way over your house.

However, checking if there are mud tubes around your home is one of the best ways that you can do determine if your house has termites. Actually, these silent destroyers do not survive long in daylight thus they are moving over a pencil-thin mud tube.

To know more about termite mud tubes, keep on reading this content.

What Are Termite Mud Tubes?

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Termite tubes or termite tunnels are a method by which termites utilize to travel across visible terrains. In simple words, these are small tunnels which are located around the termite nests.

Frequently, these are made of dirt/mud or termite droppings and usually utilized by subterranean termites. Even so, the main purpose of these tubes is to offer shelter as well as protection to termites against raiding predators, as the termites could travel unseen. Also, they lessen humidity loss among termites traveling to and from along the tubes.

Subterranean termites, on the other hand, utilize mud tubes to gather their groups in the dirt subversive to their above the ground source of food. Furthermore, these termites need enough amount of humidity in order to stay alive. Aside from that, subterranean termites are also at risk to dehydration.

Nevertheless, subterranean termite tubes can be a great help as they provide moisture to shelters that lack wetness.

What Do Tunnels Look Like?

termite mud tube on the ceiling
Sometimes you can find termite mud tubes hanging from ceiling.
Image credit: Tucson
picture of termite mud tube on the wall
Here you can see termite tunnel on the wall.
termite tunnel on the bricks
If you ever see such tubes on your brick wall you must shedule a termite inspection.
Image credit: Truly Nolen
termite tubes on the concrete foundation
This is how mud tubes look like on houses’ concrete foundation.

Video of Termites Moving Using Mud Tubes

Types of Mud Tunnels

Listed below are the different types of mud tunnels which are commonly used by subterranean termites.

  1. Exploratory Tubes

These tubes are fragile and thin but they are easy to notice since they expand in various directions. Exploratory tubes are made of dirt, saliva, and feces. However, when constructed over concrete, they can spread out up to 15ft above ground.

These tubes lie back of the termite’s homegrown in hunt of food. From time to time, the tubes are freestanding and unrestricted when no foodstuff is found.

On the other hand, even though they are empty, exploratory mud tubes still show the existence of termites.

  1. Drop Tubes

This type of mud tunnel is suspended between the wood members of the construction and the ground. Drop tubes look like pillars in the cave, thus they are easy to determine.

The main purpose of these tubes is to create more accessible food sources for termite workers. Aside from that, they re-create a connection thru the ground as well as working tubes.

Drop tubes are lighter when it comes to color compare to working and exploratory tubes. Though they have the same brittleness and diameters to exploratory mud tubes.

  1. Working Tubes

This mud tube is also known as a utility tube. Working tubes transport thousands of termites from nests to food sources every day. Moreover, they are organized loosely like highways with several lanes utilized to transport food. But others are for repair and construction purposes.

The size of these tubes is normally identified depending on the food source’s size.

Unlike exploratory tubes, these tubes are constructed to last longer. They travel along home foundations and basement walls. Plus, they can be found under porches, around sills, window frames, sub-floors, and beams.

Termite Tube Locations: Where They Can Build Them?

In tropical forestry, termite tubes can be seen bending their way up and down in several trees particularly in the barks. Termites can also build tubes across paved roads and ground levels.

These tubes can be seen in an open and empty space to connect them to grounds. However, if you’re searching for termite mud tubes in your house, you can check the parts which are connected or close to the ground.

How to Get Rid of Mud Tubes?

  1. If you see termite mud tubes outside your house, get rid of a piece from the center using a gloved hand or stick.
  2. You can also get rid of mud tubes by flooding them. In fact, most experts are using this as a natural termite control method.
  3. If you find termite mud tubes around your home, it’s best to seek help from pest control professionals. Why? Because they are knowledgeable when it comes to this kind of job. Plus, they have the right tools and equipment.


Finding and determining termite tubes is not a difficult task. With proper knowledge and research, rest assured that you will be able to protect your house, furniture, and other important stuff from destructive pests.

Comments 3

  1. Avatar Zaki says:

    It’s truly a great and helpful piece of information. I’m satisfied that you simply shared this useful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Avatar Adam says:

    Very neat article. I found mud tubes on the ceiling and was trying to found out what a hell is this. Your article made it clear for me and I immediately called to my local exterminator company. Much thanks again. Fantastic.

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