Where do termites live?

Where termites live depends on their species. However, each individual group has a common habitat amongst all species. For example, drywood termites live in dry wood (these are the annoying ones that may live in your homes and eat all the wood), and subterranean termites live in underground colonies or in damp areas above ground. They build tunnels to reach food.

Most termites will build nests, which consist of a combination of soil, mud, chewed wood/cellulose, saliva and faeces. The nests serve primarily as a home for the termites. Inside these nests are a network of reproductive chambers for termites such as supplemental reproductives to reproduce in. Some species even maintain fungal gardens, which feed on plant matter. Nests provide a protected living space for termites, as well as to collect water through condensation. The porous walls of the nests allow the water to condense inside the nests. Nests also provide air conditioning, as well as carbon dioxide/oxygen balance.

Most commonly, nests are built underground, in large pieces of timber or on fallen trees. Because of this, termite nests are usually not visible. However, some species that build nests above ground may have their nests develop into mounds, which may grow up to 9 meters.

Termite mound in India

The density of the mounds is amazing, with tens of thousands of termites in just one square meter of the mound. Each termite has a different mound. Some termites build mounds with elaborate sculptured forms.