Termite society is divided into three castes. The most important caste is the worker caste. Neither the queen nor the other castes are able to feed themselves. So the workers must provide all food to the colony.
Worker termites don’t need to sleep unlike your average human. They can spend 24 hours a day and seven days a week working and working without need for a lunch break or a rest. This is because the vast majority of their work simply involves eating. Worker termites chew up homes and then go back to the colony where they feed the warrior caste and the reproductive caste.
The warrior caste is responsible for ensuring the safety of the colony. They go out and fight other insects (usually ants) for scarce resources and territory.
The reproductive caste is responsible for growing new termite colonies. Those who find discarded wings on their property know that they have a serious problem and that they’re host to a colony that is successful enough to create new colonies.
How Do Termites Get Into Your Home?
The vast majority of termites that do the most significant amount of damage here in the U.S. are subterranean termites. As the name suggests, subterranean termites spend the majority of their time underneath the ground and in the soil. They seek out new sources of food and a nice place to build a colony.
Our homes offer termites plenty of food, a great place to shelter from natural predators, and warmth in the colder months.
Worse still, termites are tiny and can thus exploit holes or cracks in your foundation that are no larger than the side of a credit card. Thus, professional pest control efforts focus not only on eradicating existing infestations, but also preventing future ones.
There are two approaches to this. The first approach involves the homeowner infesting money into resealing their basement and ensuring that their foundation has no inlets that termites can exploit to gain a foothold.
The second approach involves routine termite soil treatments that create a radius around your home that is not conducive to the termite lifestyle.
Either of these can be effective at preventing future termite problems.
It’s Termite Season All Year Long
Contrary to popular belief, termites usually do, but don’t have to hibernate in winter. This is especially true when they’ve gained a foothold in a climate-controlled building. Termites have natural sensors that dictate when it’s time to hibernate based on the current temperature. When a termite is inside of a climate-controlled building, they have no need to hibernate. They can just continue destroying your property. So the idea that termites just stop in the winter is kind of true but does not tell the entire story.
The spring or fall is when swarming season begins. That’s when the termites are most actively reproducing and establishing new colonies.