These termites are small, yellow-white/ brown insects that live in the large colonies in soil. They require wood for food and soil for moisture. Subterranean termites are naturally present in forested areas. Colonies often live in stumps and decaying logs, but are capable of invading buildings and feeding on structural wood.
Subterranean termite colonies consist of many individuals divided into king and queen, workers and soldiers. The queen typically lives for many years, producing eggs throughout her life. The soldiers defend the colony from enemies while the workers feed on wood and care for other members of the colony.
In the spring (and fall for some sub-species), a mature colony may produce swarms of winged termites (new kings and queens). These adults fly off, mate, then form new colonies nearby. The presence of swarmer termites in a building is often the first indication to the inhabitants of an infestation.