Termites are estimated to cause nearly $5 billion of damage yearly to homes and businesses. Many times termites get mistaken for winged ants and it may take a trained eye to tell the difference. Some signs of a termite infestation may include soft wood in the home, mud tubes on the exterior foundation, and blistering of paint on wood structures.
Termites live in colonies that, at maturity, number from several hundred to several million individuals. Termites communicate with a variety of behavioral activities and signals. A typical colony contains nymphs , workers, soldiers, and reproductive individuals of both sexes, sometimes containing several egg-laying queens.
Termites are generally grouped according to their nesting and feeding habits, but one thing that is common in all termite colonies is they eat Cellulose (wood).
Termites are weak and relatively fragile insects that need to stay moist to survive. They can be overpowered by ants and other predators when exposed. They avoid these perils by covering their trails with tubing made of feces, plant matter, saliva, and soil. Thus, the termites can remain hidden and wall out unfavourable environmental conditions. Sometimes these shelter tubes will extend for many metres, such as up the outside of a tree reaching from the soil to dead branches. Any breach of their tunnels or nests is a cause for alarm. When the Formosan subterranean termite and the eastern subterranean termite detect a potential breach, the soldiers will usually bang their heads apparently to attract other soldiers for defence and recruit additional workers to repair any breach. This head-banging response to vibration is also useful when attempting to locate termites in house frames.