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Termites are social insects. They have a complex social structure and live together in large colonies. What exactly a termite looks like depends on what "caste" or group within the colony that they are a part of.

Worker termites

Workers make up the majority of a colony. They have soft, creamy-white bodies, are wingless, blind, and grow to be about 1/4 of an inch in length. They are responsible for gathering food to feed the entire colony.

Soldier termites

Soldiers look similar to workers, but they are slightly larger in size, have short legs, and their heads are elongated and yellow in color. Soldiers use their powerful jaws to defend their colony.

Reproductive termites

Reproductive termites are the largest sized member of a colony and are dark brown to black in color and are the only winged members of a colony.

Termites nesting and feeding outside are a beneficial species, feeding on and breaking down water-damaged or decaying pieces of wood and other organic debris that is made of cellulose. However, when termites find their way inside buildings, they turn from helpful to destructive. Termites are initially attracted to structural wood that is decaying or has been damaged by water (structural wood found behind walls, window and door frames, ceilings, and floors). As an infestation grows, they will also attack sound wood. If left untreated, an infestation can lead to costly structural repairs. Most insurance doesn't cover termite damage because it's viewed as preventable.

To protect your building from moisture-seeking termites, it is important to reduce as much excess moisture in and around your business as possible by using dehumidifiers or air-conditioners, making sure that crawlspaces and attics are properly ventilated, maintaining your gutters, placing weather stripping around all windows and doors, repairing leaky pipes or fixtures and remove any wood in your building that has been damaged by water, eliminating as many entrance points as possible, limiting soil-to-wood contact on your property, sealing cracks in your foundation, and creating a barrier between your foundation and any soil or mulch. 

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