Subterranean termites are social insects that live in colonies consisting of workers, soldiers, reproductives, and kings and queens. They feed on wood or other items that contain cellulose, such as paper, fiberboard, and some fabrics derived from cotton or plant fibers. Subterranean termites nest in the soil to obtain moisture, but they also nest in wood that is often wet. A single termite feeding on the wood in your house will damage the wood slowly, but the amount of damage can drastically increase when a large colony is located under the foundation of your home. Queens lay thousands of eggs, and it does not take long for an uncontrolled colony to drastically increase in size.
When subterranean termites discover your home, they will search it for wood fiber. They will squeeze through cracks as narrow as a penny in search of it. Expansion joints, foundation cracks, tiny gaps around plumbing and electrical service entries are all opportunities for termites. They easily attack wood that is in contact with soil. If the wood does not contact the soil, termites can build mud tunnels or tubes to reach wood above the ground. These tunnels can extend for 50-60 feet to reach wood and often pass through the gaps and cracks mentioned above.