Subterranean Termites cause Billions in damage to U.S. structures each year. More than fires, floods and storms combined!
Subterranean termites live in highly-structured, social colonies in the soil. The alates, or “swarmers” develop each year within the termite colony and are often seen in large numbers when they swarm in the Spring. A termite swarm means there is a mature termite colony nearby. The sole function of this swarm is reproduction. The alates pair off, shed their wings and return to the soil to start new colonies. This is one way termites spread in a region or neighborhood.
The “workers” (above) perform all the work of the colony. They build and maintain pathways or mud tunnels to and from food sources. They tend to the queen and her young. And, they consume the structural component of wood called “cellulose” and supply this food to the rest of the colony. In Nature this is beneficial. It allows the nutrients from fallen trees, etc. to be recycled back into the soil. But when termites find a home or other structure, extensive damage may result over time.
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