What Should I Know About Termite Behavior?

While termites may be a nuisance to your home, they do serve an important purpose in nature. Learn more about termites and their unique behavioral habits.

termite 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.

Termites don't just live in wood

Subterranean termites are the most common species of termites in the United States. They build colonies underground and create foraging tunnels that allow them to move virtually unnoticed below ground in their search for food.

And those colonies? They can spread

Termites are social insects that live in colonies consisting of several specialized forms. They divide their colony using a caste system. Each and every member of the caste has a specific role.

A mature colony may release "swarmers" (winged males and females) in late spring through fall, depending on the species. Swarmer termites will settle, shed their wings and form a new colony.
 

Termites won't knock on your front door

Termites cannot hurt humans physically, but they can destroy property, which can be harsh on the wallet.

A common entry point into your home may be through cracks in the foundation. It's important that if you see cracks in your foundation, you fill the cracks or at least monitor them very closely for termite tunnels.
 

Your eyes are the first defense

As you can see, termites live in a unique society mostly hidden from sight. Understanding termite behavior and what to look for will help you watch out for these tiny homewreckers.

Still, when it comes to termite prevention and control, the job is best left to a pest management professional.