- Termites are social insects with a highly organized castle system.
- Subterranean termites usually live outside the home in underground nests.
- Subterranean termites use moisture in the earth to survive.
- Since Subterranean termites also need cellulose, they often tunnel into nearby homes to get it.
- Some other termites (like Drywood and Formosan) don’t need contact with the earth to survive.
- The presence of termites may not be readily noticed because activity is hidden behind wall boards or wood trim.
- Termites live in every state except Alaska.
- A termite colony has three forms or castles: reproductive’s, workers, and soldiers
- Subterranean swarmers are seen as they are sent out from a colony to mate and start a new colony. Their bodies are coal black to pale yellow brown. The wings, if attached, will be pale or smoky gray to brown and distinct vein patterns.
- Subterranean termite workers make up the largest population and do all the work. They are wingless and are a white to creamy color. They forage for food, feed the other castles, groom the queen, and maintain and build tunnels and shelter tubes.
- Soldiers resemble workers in color and general appearance, except they have well developed brownish heads with strong mandibles or jaws. They defend the colony against invaders.
- After 2-4 years a colony is mature and produces swarmers. Swarmers may be seen in Texas between January and May.
- Signs of infestation can be difficult to detect. Swarmers, mud tubes, and damaged wood are ways to determine an infestation. Here are some ways to determine infestation:
- Small holes in wood.
- Mud tunnels or tubes that run along the foundation.
- Damage to drywall surface.
- Swarming termites outside the home or inside the home.
- Dead swarmers and wings.
- Soft, “squishy” feeling in floors, baseboards, walls, or ceilings.