Termites are social insects that live in large colonies where populations can reach more than one million. A colony consists of several structurally differentiated termite forms living together as castes (including reproductives, soldiers, and workers) with different functions in community life.
In the spring, winged reproductives leave the parental nest in swarms to create a new colony. The swarming lasts less than an hour, so it's very likely you'll never even see it. The winged reproductives themselves look quite a bit like flying ants, for which they are often mistaken.
Subterranean and Drywood Termites
Formosan subterranean termites are one of several termite species that threaten homes and other structures in Hawaii and the southern half of the continental United States.
The Western subterranean termite is a problem for homeowners in the western part of North America from British Columbia in Canada, south to western Mexico and east as far as Idaho and Nevada.
Desert subterranean termites are commonly distributed throughout the lower deserts of northwestern Mexico, southern California and southern Arizona.
The Eastern subterranean termite is a problem for homeowners from southern Ontario in Canada, south throughout the Eastern United States and as far west as Montana.
Drywood termites threaten homes in southern California, Arizona, Utah, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico, Texas, Puerto Rico and Hawaii.