2 species of termites (Subterranean and Drywood) in urban Singapore are commonly known as “silent destroyers”. All species of termites live on a strict diet of cellulose, an organic compound, found in wood, plants and paper. However, whether or not they build their nest using cellulose depends on their species.
Subterranean termites tend to build their nests underground as they are not too fond of sunlight. Such termites primarily use tunnels made from mud and their excrement to navigate an area for food. When mud-liked tunnels or small shed wings are found near areas such as skirting boards, window and/or door frames, that is usually a strong indicator of a termite infestation.
Termites are eusocial insects that are classified at the taxonomic rank of infraorder Isoptera, or as epifamily Termitoidae within the cockroach order Blattodea. Termites were once classified in a separate order from cockroaches, but recent phylogenetic studies indicate that they evolved from close ancestors of cockroaches during the Jurassic or Triassic. Although these insects are often called white ants, they are not ants.