It is extremely important that the parameters of the inspection and the roles of the various professionals involved in the real estate transaction are keenly aware of the potential problems associated with termites.
It is estimated that termites cause over one hundred million dollars in damages each year in Hawaii. Subterranean termites nest in the ground and go up to find food and the dry wood termites nest in the cavities of the house or forest. The subterranean termites are by far much more destructive. The most destructive and the most aggressive of all the termites is the Formosan subterranean. The other species are: West Indian drywood, Western drywood, Indo-Malaysian drywood and Pacific dampwood.
Termites are very aggressive and yet very secretive and will hide their works of destruction to the naked eye until the homeowner sees a sag in the floor, leaking roof, warped walls, depression in wood, discolored or blistered paint, moist areas, short circuit or sees termite droppings on the ground. The termite colonies average two million individual termites with large colonies exceeding ten million termites.
Termites form their colonies by swarming. Major swarms of subterranean termites occurs in May and June on very calm and muggy nights and you can see thousands of termites flying all over the place. The termites fly a short distance and will drop their wings after it lands. They are attracted to lights and will land near the lights. The termites will pair off and move about in tandem, searching for a place to nest. The nesting place must contain food, moisture and shelter. The shelter cannot be bare and smooth. The swarming couple needs a nail hole, crack or a crevice that they can seal and have a mating chamber. A queen termite develops into an egg laying machine capable of laying 2,000 eggs a day. The queen develops a huge abdomen and a small head and she cannot walk and must be fed by the worker termites. The queen is 1" long and ¼" in diameter. The queen and king can live for almost 20 years. The king's abdomen will also enlarge and produce the sperm needed to fertilize the large number of eggs laid by the queen.