Subterranean termites are very destructive to wood all over the United States. They are more concentrated in some states than others. For instance, they are heaviest in the Southeast, while they are moderate in the Southwest, Midwest, and the East Central United States. In the Northern U.S. they are very low in concentration and this is most likely due to the cooler climate. Termites love warm weather, especially spring.
What’s amazing about subterranean termites is that they are useful in the environment. They break down various materials such as dead wood and this is very good for the soil. But it’s when termites attack structures that they become a problem. Termites like to consume structures such as businesses, warehouses, and homes. What many find are that they are great hiders. They like to hide behind the walls, trim, and any other areas in a home or business where they can’t be seen.
There are a number of species of subterranean termites including nose termites. They live in all states of the U.S. except for Alaska.
As for how all termites are identified, they live in the soil. Their nests or colonies may appear to be like mounds. Their mounds remind you of the mounds that ants build, although termites are in no way related to ants.
When looking at a termite colony, you will see three different types. You will see the workers, which are pale, blind, and they are sexually immature. They gather food and create the tunnels that they travel through. They even groom one another. You’ll also see the soldiers. These are the termites with large heads. They have large jaws that are used to defend the colony against predators. If an ant would come near the colony, a solider or two would make sure that ant did not go any further.
You then have the termites that are responsible for the growth of the colony. The reproductives are sometimes mistaken for ants. This is because they are sometimes seen with wings. They have wings for when they swarm and fly away to mate and create their own colonies, if they do so. Most of the time they stay put and contribute to the growth of the colony. You may even see the queen, who is the primary reproductive. She can be rather large and she is the one that does the most in the way of reproducing. She can live to be 50 years old, which is considerably longer than the other termites in the colony.
Subterranean termites enter structures from the ground since they live in the soil. This is one reason why they tend to favor tree stumps and any sources of food that they can find on the ground. When they find a structure, they enter it, and they then make their home in it. They feed on the structure and they do so in a way that they are not noticed.
Individuals sometimes catch a glimpse of termites entering a home or they see them elsewhere on the ground near their property. Homeowners and business owners either notice mounds or they see them feeding on a tree stump. If these signs are present, then it is time to have the home or business inspected to see if the termites have entered and are feeding on the structure. If they are never discovered, the structure can severely weaken and then collapse.
Overall, subterranean termites, despite how well intentioned they are, are pests that can do significant damage to a structure. This damage can be expensive and it can cause a structure to become dangerous.