Termites are broadly divided into three major termite groups: subterranean, drywood and dampwood. If you are trying to classify a specific termite colony into a group, you need to look at the soldiers and the alates, the winged, unmated reproductive caste, because worker termites across groups tend to look the same. Also important is the appearance of the damage wood they consume.
Subterranean termite can have up to 2 million members in a well established colony! Their colonies are divided into three groups: workers, soldiers and reproductives.
Termites eat wood, cardboard, wallpaper, and fabric made from plants, just to name a few.
Subterranean termites need contact with the soil to survive. They live in underground colonies or in wet areas aboveground. They build tunnels to reach food and every spring, groups of reproductive termites fly off to start new colonies.
Subterranean termites are the most destructive kind of termite. They can eat a lot of wood and they can cause a lot of expensive damage to a house! They can destroy building foundations, wooden support beams, plastic plumbing pipes, sub-flooring, insulation … even swimming pool liners and filtration systems! Termites can also injure or destroy living trees and shrubs.
A subterranean termite infestation begins when warm temperatures and heavy rainfall trigger an established colony to send out a swarm of winged termites. Swarms consist of winged reproductive males and females. Subterranean termite colonies are usually active for three to five years before winged reproductives appear. Winged, reproductive termites are frequently mistaken for flying ants, but are smaller than ants and have straight, rather than bent, antennae.
Termite swarmers have four wings that are all the same size. Ant swarmers have two large wings in front and two smaller wings behind. After mating, swarmer termites land and shed their wings, leaving them in piles that resemble fish scales. If there are piles of wings on windowsills of your home, check to see if they are all the same size. They could be termite wings especially if they are all the same size.
Formosan termite colonies can be up to 300 feet long and there can be tens of thousands of termites in a single colony. Formosan termite colonies are divided into three groups: workers, soldiers and reproductives. They are the largest and most destructive kind of termite.
Formosan termites eat wood and fabric made from plants. When they eat dead trees, these termites help the environment and make space for new plant life. Formosans live in huge underground colonies, and build mud nests inside the walls of a building. They can also live in boats and buildings.
Formosan termites eat a lot of wood and can damage your house. Also, they can sometimes be hard to treat if you have colonies living inside a wall with a good unknown water supply. Fumigation is necessary in this situation.