Termites eat wood. They are sometimes mistaken for winged ants. In nature, they serve to speed up the transformation of dead trees into soil nutrients. In your home, they’re less helpful. Hundreds of thousands of homes are treated every year for termites in the US alone. They thrive in warm areas, but can live in temperate climates as well, such as the Northeast and Northwest United States. Alaska is the only state completely free of termites. Termites are also a concern in Europe and other parts of the world.
Termites are divided into two major groups: Subterranean Termites (living underground) and termites that live above ground, commonly called Drywood Termites. Drywood termites don’t need access to soil; they make their homes in wood such as floors, crates, and furniture. Because Drywood termites nest in wood and never need ground contact, they are especially troublesome to control.
Termites are a worsening problem. Current building trends which include house additions such as patios, attached garages, and breezeways, invite termite invasions. Also, because old-growth forest are more rare, homes are increasingly being built with newer sapwood, a wood that is more susceptible to termites. Central heating also helps termites and other insects, giving them a warm place to be active all year round.