Termites are usually cryptic, meaning they don't come out into the open , meaning they’re difficult to detect. Even when visible within the home as flying insects, termites can often be mistaken for ants. Some homeowners will dismiss the termites as pesky ants (which often swarm at the same time of year) and ignore them without taking preventive or extermination measures. This allows established termite infestations to grow exponentially. While they are only a few millimeters in length, their feeding habits are capable of causing costly property damage.
Termites primarily feed on cellulose, a part of the wood, but can also damage paper, books, insulation, and swimming pool liners, and filtration systems. All termites feed on detritus (dead plants and trees as well as dead parts of living trees). Unfortunately, all homes, regardless of construction type, can provide cellulose food for termite infestation. House foundations, furniture, shelves, and even books are all possible feeding termite feeding sites. Termites can harm living trees and shrubs but are often secondary invaders of woody plants already in decline.