This is the most common kind of termite. They are found throughout the continental United States, so you will have to be on guard pretty much anywhere. They're also generally the kind of termite that does the most damage to a house.
There are several different species, but the common thread is that
they live underground, forming a colony that connects between the
dirt and the wood in your house.
They get food from the wood in your house, and water from the moisture in the soil. If there's no direct connection between the two, they will often build mud-based tunnels to connect them (a sure sign of an infestation).
You should avoid letting any natural wood source touch your house, because that's a common way they move from the soil into your home. Tree branches are a big one (don't let them touch your roof), vines, or even pipes that touch the ground.
You have to treat them differently from drywood termites. The subterranean kind is often best targeted with bait systems, which stick into the soil and are eaten by termites building out their colony (a lot like the tunnels in an ant's nest). You can also use liquid treatments on them as well. The advantages of baits vs. liquids are discussed on their respective pages.
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