“ If they fly they die… if they crawl they fall”
Wood-eating termites are normally not seen since they inhabit wood internally, both above ground (dry wood termites), and underground (subterranean termites). In the United States, they have been reported, as having infested houses, as early as 1849. They are most often encountered when cutting or breaking open infested wood. The most common termites encountered by Pestgon Inc. in, southern California, appear pearly white in color, with a darker head and some with obvious dark mandibles (chewing parts). They are about 3/8 of an inch long, with a large head and ring separations around their fat abdomen. Termites form wings and swarm in large numbers in the spring and fall. That is when they are most often seen, both indoors and outdoors.
Termites are ravenous wood scavengers and specialists at boring wood and eating out the soft cellulose between the wood ribs. That is why they are aptly called, “wood worms”. Subterranean termites inhabit the damp soil in search of decaying underground wood. They also built mud tubes from the ground up to the wood floor joices and substructures of buildings. Dry-wood termites generally seek dry wood above ground, such as wood siding, window frames and attics. Finding a pile of tiny pellets (like saw dust) that has fallen out of small hole in a piece of wood is, usually the first evidence of a dry-wood termite infestation. Because all termites reproduce in large numbers, given time, they are capable of digesting a whole house or commercial building!
It follows that termites are well known and feared, as one of the most damaging pests to the commercial property owner and homeowner. In the U.S. alone, the economic losses to property are in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually.