In continuing from our recent post on termite damage here are more photos so you can see how termite damage looks like. These termite damages are all Coptotermes gestroi inflicted, and the damage extended to dozens of houses in one area of about 5 hectares (or more than 12 acres). Since all the houses were close by or interlinked, the termites (which probably comprised a few colonies altogether), ran rampant and caused a lot of damage. The damage was so severe that many of the houses could not be salvaged, with a huge drop in their market value.
As I've stated, Coptotermes (or any species of subterranean termite) will take advantage of any lack of competition or predators to proliferate. In urbanized environments, many termite species are unable to survive - but evidently not for some species of subterranean termites, like Coptotermes gestroi, or in many other countries, Coptotermes formosanus (Formosan Subterranean Termite).
Termite damage from subterranean species normally begins when the termites gain access to the building wood beams from their tunnels located deep underground. If the termites have to, they will build access tubes to the wood, even across exposed areas. For drywood termites though, they nest directly in the wood itself, so that may pose a bigger problem. Fortunately, most drywood species do not produce large colonies, so the damage is not normally as extensive as those from subterranean species.
Termite damage photos
These photos give an idea to what extent termites can inflict damage on the woodwork of any unprotected building. Parquet flooring, window panels, doors, staircases, roofing, books, and paper are all fair game for the termites. The wood may appear alright on the outside, but once the termites are done, the wood becomes hollowed-out shells, and the termites then move on for fresh targets.
They do not (in the case of subterranean termites), make any wood as their nest; they just eat it out from within and in so doing, they leave an intricate, interconnecting latticework of galleries, arches, and pillars that permit ease of movement for the termites when they are chomping away. Also, termite activity is much more frequent in wet weather than dry weather.