Termites are beneficial insects by breaking down dead wood and returning nutrients to the soil. However, they become a problem when they attempt to do the same thing to your home.
The biology and behavior of termites make your home a target. Termites are social insects that live in colonies. They look for food continuously and randomly, even after they’ve found adequate and abundant food sources. This means that, sooner or later, they’ll bump into and attack your house. They often lead other colony members to lunch on your house. Individual termites forage randomly among the feeding sites the colony has identified.
Subterranean termites live in the soil. Up to two million termites inhabit a colony. These colonies consist of a network of tunnels and chambers built around a King and Queen whose sole job is to reproduce. The rest of the colony is comprised of termites who all play specific roles in keeping the colony healthy. Among these termites are the workers. Worker termites keep busy 24 hours a day to digest wood fibers and other forms of cellulose which they eat, digest and share with the other members of the colony.
Homeowners rarely see the worker termites because they stay deep within the structure hollowing it out from the inside. In the spring or fall, winged reproductives may be noticed swarming around the structure. This form of termite can be easily confused with a winged ant. Winged termites have straight antennae and no “waistline”. Ants have elbowed antennae and three distinct body segments. Termites break off their wings; ants don’t.