According to studies provided by www.Termites.com, the Eastern subterranean termite is the most common and widely distributed termite in the USA, found from southern Ontario and in all eastern states of the USA including Texas. Additional termite breeds include: Formosan subterranean termites, Powderpost drywood termites, and Florida dampwood termites.
There are six stages in a termite nest life cycle:
4. Caste definition including worker, solider, and developing reproductive
5. Reproductive termite development
6. King and queen maturity for reproduction
A queen can live for up to 25 years and produce nearly 2,000 eggs a day. That is nearly 18,250,000 termites being produced in the average queen’s life span.
In the termite caste system, the workers are the most predominant. These are the termites that take care of the queen and king, soldiers, and nymphs until they have fully grown by damaging your home. They gather wood and other food for the remainder of the colony and construct the tunnels through the wood in your home for their nest.
Slightly less common in the caste, the solider termites protect the colony from ants or other intruders in the nest. Whenever there is damage to a nest or a potential intruder, these are the first termites that will be seen guarding the colony until the workers can repair any damages.
Very rarely seen, except for when they swarm, are the reproductive termites. These are the kings and queens for future colonies. When developing into adulthood, these termites develop wings and will fly out in swarms. Their flying abilities are limited and they are typically carried by the wind, rather than their own strength. Once they land, wings are shed and they prepare to start the lifecycle all over again.
A termite colony will establish itself in the ground, just below risk of freezing and just above excessive water. As the colony begins to grow, they expand with sub-colonies at distances of up to 100 yards in radius from the central colony in search of additional food, space, and water. They can begin to enter your home through cracks in the foundation, gaps that are less than 1/16 inch wide in the walls, or any other means that can grant them access to a new food source. Once they have found an access point to your home, the termites will build shelter tubes out of mud to ensure the survival of the traveling colony. These shelter points are found more commonly along areas that have consistent water supplies, such as indoor plumbing.
Once the colony has begun to establish itself, they will rely on its major food source for survival; your home. Damage from termites can include wall perforations, cracks to appear around windows or doors, or even complete structural damage.
If you find that your home has been invaded by termites, do not disturb the nest. They are highly secretive with a keen sense for survival and will abandon the area as quickly as possible. It is best that you quickly contact your local pest control provider as well as your homeowners insurance company to have the pests removed from your home as soon as possible, before any additional damage can be done.