Biology & Behavior
Termite behavior varies from species to species. That makes it hard to identify termites without the help of an expert. For instance, drywood termites prefer dry wood that is above ground while subterranean termites form nests and colonies underground.
Understanding termite behavior is essential to effectively monitoring and protecting your home from termite damage.
Termites actually have good intentions
As with all bugs, termite behavior serves an important purpose in nature. Termites survive by digesting wood and other cellulose materials. In the process, they break down dead trees and vegetation.
That’s actually very helpful if they are living in a forest or field. But when their living space overlaps with human living space – things get dicey.
Termites have favorite destinations
Warmer areas are prone to greater termite damage; therefore, areas in the South face a greater risk of termites. But, eastern subterranean termites are in every state in the United States except Alaska, so don’t let your guard down.
Some ants build nests in walls and foundations, or indoors in potted plants, enclosed areas, and even in cavities in toilets and sinks. In almost all cases nests are limited to pre-existing cavities or spaces between objects or in rotten wood and seldom will ants attack solid structures. Thus they generally will not cause structural damage to buildings but will take advantage of existing deterioration.
Termites cause billions of dollars in damage each year in the U.S. They primarily feed on wood, but also damage paper, books, insulation, and even swimming pool liners and filtration systems. Termites can injure living trees and shrubs, but more often are a secondary invader of woody plants already in decline. While termites may infest buildings at any time, they are particularly relevant when buying or selling a home since a termite inspection/infestation report is normally a condition of sale. Besides the monetary impact, thousands of winged termites emerging inside one’s home are an emotionally trying experience — not to mention the thought of termites silently feasting on one’s largest investment.