It is worse than you might have thought!
There are over 2,700 known species of termites throughout the world. In the U.S., subterranean termites, including Eastern, Western, desert and Formosans, are a concern in every state except Alaska. Subterranean termites, which build underground nests, can be extremely destructive. They can tunnel to wooden structures (like your home), which damage by using it as a food source. Termites all share a virtually insatiable appetite for wood and other cellulose-containing materials. Given enough time, they can cause extensive damage and will feed on the wood until nothing is left but a shell.
Termites are social insects that live in colonies where populations can reach more than one million. A termite colony consists of several structurally differentiated forms living together as castes (including reproductives, soldiers, and workers) with different functions in the colony community life.