There are many species of structural infesting termites and each one has developed effective ways to get at and attack the wood in your home. Preventing termite attack and killing these termites is vital if you want to avoid the damage they cause. Termites live in colonies which are usually underground, although sometimes they can be within your home itself. The "worker" termite forages outside of the colony for food. It consumes the wood creating "galleries" and then returns to feed the rest of the colony. Tell-tale signs of termites include mud (or shelter) tubes on foundation walls, termite swarms and of course infested wood members.
KING and QUEEN - In a young colony, the king and the queen are the actively reproducing termites in the colony. Their only function is the production of the eggs.
EGGS - The tiny termite egg is almost transparent. During the incubation period the egg is groomed and tended by workers. The larva hatches from the egg and is about the same size.
WORKER - This termite is the one which forages from the nest to the wood supply and returns with food for the colony.
SOLDIER - Defender of the colony, the soldier termite develops a long, armored head and mandibles capable of cutting an enemy ant in half. The soldier also sounds the alarm by banging his head against the side of a tunnel.
SWARMERS - When nymphs reach maturity and become swarmers (kings and queens), they all leave the colony at about the same time, usually in Spring or Fall. The swarmers fly very poorly and most of them flutter for only a few yards before falling to the ground. When the short flight is finished, the swarmers drop their wings and the males begin a frenzied search for compatible mates. Because the swarmers are exposed and are prey to predator birds and insects, very few ever survive to establish a new colony.
Mud Tubes of the subterranean termite are bridged between the soil and some wooden structure under the house is a sure sign of subterranean termite activity. These tubes can go up the foundation wall, along plumbing, or directly from the soil to the wood.