There are three conditions that attract termites to an area:
Water is the first condition that attracts termites to an area. Termites generally cannot survive without a source of water present. Termites will always seek some source of moisture to survive whether it is in the form of a leaky faucet, sprinkler or rain.
Wood is the next thing that will attract termites. Termites will consume any material that contains cellulose. Since wood contains a great deal of cellulose, termites eat wood like no other. If a single piece of wood touches the ground, a colony of termites somewhere will know about it. Some subterranean termites will consume other materials such as vegetation, dung, and humus, but their primary source of food is wood.
The last thing that termites are attracted to is soil. Termites are subterranean, so they build their colonies in the ground. They love soil and will build elaborate tunnel systems, called galleries up to three feet below the surface. Termites will use soil to create mud tubes leading from their underground colonies to above ground food sources such as the wood in your home.
Being aware of the three conditions for termite survival can help you to keep destructive termites away from your home. Termites cost over $1 billion in damages to homes each year. They are one of the biggest contributors to home destruction. With the importation of the Formosan termite from East Asia, the amount of termite caused home damage continues to rise. A termite colony consists of anywhere from 250,000 to a million termites. A single termite queen can live between 30 and 50 years and can lay thousands of eggs per day. That means that a queen can repopulate her colony even after tremendous devastation. The best way to fight termites is to prevent them from ever touching your home.