There are three distinct groups into which termites can be divided:
Subterranean Termites are fragile ‘albino’ like creatures that are incredibly sensitive to light and require a constant moist and humid environment to survive. If exposed to harsh elements, particularly dry heat, they die. Subterranean Termites are the most economically destructive of the three termite groups. Their nests are hidden underground, often located in the root crown of a tree trunk or within the warm internal timber structures of your home. Their nests are sometimes located up to 60 meters away from where they are actually attacking.
Workers and Soldiers tunnel through the moist dark sub soil in search of food to share with the rest of the colony. They build well disguised external mud tubes that allow them to negotiate around obstacles giving them access into our homes. This makes them difficult to detect to the untrained eye and their damage is often only discovered by chance.
Termites devour timber, hollowing and consuming it from the inside out leaving only a thin outer layer, (sometimes only paint), which can cause the timber to appear like it is bubbled or wrinkled. Termite’s strive to maintain concealment but will sometimes accidently eat a hole through the surface of the timber temporarily exposing themselves but then hurriedly patch the hole up with mud.
New colonies are created from mid-October through early March when the reproductive winged termites (Alates) make their colonising flights. On warm and humid evenings, you can see hundreds of them swarming from the parent nest and upon landing, they shed their wings and begin mating. Abandoned termite wings are a tell-tale sign of an infestation and can often be found around doors, in fly screens and on window sills.