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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 the activity is hidden behind wallboards 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 have distinct vein patterns.
Subterranean termite workers make up the largest population and do all the work. They are wingless and are a white to a 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 an 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 the drywall surface.
Swarming termites outside the home or inside the home.
Dead swarmers and wings.
Soft, “squishy” feeling in floors, baseboards, walls, or ceilings.