Last Updated December 19th, 2022: Where do termites come from is a common question homeowners might ask. Termites are notorious pests of timber and rank amongst the most destructive insects. They are more prominent in buildings close to rotten wood, tree stumps, and trees. These insects are social insects that build extensive colonies and nests in dry soil. Their nests are elaborate and may extend to long distances and that may be one factor that makes them difficult to get rid of.
To effectively keep termites away, it is important to understand where they come from. It also makes sense to know the different kinds of termites and the type of habitat they naturally occupy.
Where Do Termites Come From?
The environment mostly suited for termites is one that supports their survival, food, and shelter requirements. Generally, termite species are found in almost all regions of the world. They prefer to live in areas that are warm, dark, and humid.
Termites are mostly found in the warmer tropical and subtropical regions. In the less warm temperate regions, they are found in soil, dead logs, and tree stumps. Termites can also be found near humans, in dry wood structures like furniture, windows, doors, etc. They exist in three types namely dampwood, drywood, and subterranean, and all differ in habitat preference and life history.
How Do You Get Termites?
If you are a homeowner you might be wondering how do you get termites? What actually brings them to your home?
The simple answer is termites are looking for food and shelter, and they’ve found your home. Along with that, generally, termites get into your home via wood-to-ground contact such as porch foundation posts, doorframes, as well as cracks in your foundation.
Drywood termite habitat
The drywood termites prefer wood habitats that are drier than normal. In nature, they build nests in old dry tree stumps and dead logs. The wood used in woodshops, furniture, and other wood properties is excellent for Drywood termites to use as nests. This is why they are commonly found in homes and office buildings. The common wood used in households and other buildings serves as means through which Drywood termites can enter your property.
Contrarily, dampwood termites are mostly found in humid or damp environments and are more prominent during the rains. Dampwood termites prefer to nest in decaying wood and trees. They get attracted to any building with moist ground-level openings or areas like leaking pipes, roofing, and blocked drainage.
Subterranean termites, like the dampwood termites, need a damp environment for their colonies to survive. In nature, they nest in soil, fallen trees, and decaying tree stumps. Subterranean termites have a very thin outer skeleton that can dry them out. So, they build mud tubes to protect them from exposure to air during activities. These insects gain access to your property through crevices when the environment is moist. They nest close to their food source, in moist wood, or in the surrounding soil.
What Causes Termites?
Like any living thing, termites will go to where they can get basic requirements like shelter, moisture, and food, and this is why termites will spread from house to house. If you find termites around your property, then it’s likely that they can get materials to survive. To prevent termites from coming in, get rid of such attractive materials, or make the environment unfavorable for them. Possible termite attractants in and around your property include:
- Food: Termites can digest wood and any other cellulose material. So, wood makes up the termite’s diet. The more wood you use in your home or building, the more termites you invite. Well-seasoned wood should be used to make structures to prevent termites attacks.
- Moisture: Damp areas can boost termites activities. Although moisture is crucial for their survival, some termites, like Drywood termites can stay long periods without moisture. However, many termite species can be deterred if you keep your property dry and moisture-free.
- Shelter: Termites thrive in dark, warm, and damp places. So, they seek areas that are undisturbed and close to their food source. Areas like crawl spaces and attics are good nesting choices.
How Do Termites Begin?
The majority of termite infestations start during termite-swarming season. During this season, termite swarmers are flying around looking for a new place to call their home and they go out exploring. This means if these termites find a way into your home during this swarming season, there’s a good chance termites will begin to setup shop in your home!
How Can I Prevent Termites From Being Attracted To My Home?
- Carry out regular termite inspections: Inspections carried out by pest control professionals can help you detect and eliminate early termite infestations. It is better and easier to get rid of them when they are not yet established.
- Clear your surroundings of woodpiles: One of the easiest ways termites infests homes is through wood piles closely placed to buildings. Keeping wood away from your home reduces infestation risks.
- Fix leaks and drainages: Not only do leaks attract termites, but they can also cause deterioration with time. Mismanaged drainages can also attract termites and mosquitoes.
Final Thoughts On Where Termites Come From
Termites cause extensive damage to wooden structures. They live in colonies and build elaborate nests. This makes it difficult to eliminate them. In nature, termites prefer to build nests underground in soil, old tree branches, and stumps. They are attracted to dark, damp, and warm areas. You can get rid of these pests by eliminating woodpiles and moisture from your property.