Besides wood termites feed on wood based items such as paper, books, boxes, etc. They do not sleep and are active and feeding 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
These wood destroying insects can enter your house through the smallest of cracks. It is important not to have any wooden areas of your house in contact with the ground – it is an entry point for the colony. Termites are attracted to wet wood and dark areas.
Many pest control companies in this area offer low-cost inspections for termites and other wood-destroying insects (carpenter ants, carpenter bees, and powder-post beetles). It is recommended to have a wood destroying insect inspection performed on a home before purchase, and some financial institutions that finance home purchases may require it. When obtaining a government backed loan (VA, FHA, etc.) for a home these pest inspections are normally required and need to be performed by a licensed contractor (with a pesticides license).
Termites swarm in the spring, flying to find a mate and form new colonies. You may find the winged insects near windows since they are looking for a pathway outdoors. Finding swarmers inside your house is an indication a colony may exist inside the framing.
Besides swarmers other signs of termites are mud colored tubes on foundation walls or wood framing, or damage to basement framing, usually at the sill plates or rim joists (see picture).