Their habit of remaining concealed often results in their presence being undetected until the timbers are severely damaged and exhibit surface changes. Once termites have entered a building, they do not limit themselves to wood; they also damage paper, cloth, carpets, and other cellulosic materials. Particles taken from soft plastics, plaster, rubber, and sealants such as silicone rubber and acrylics are often employed in construction.
Humans have moved many wood-eating species between continents, but have also caused drastic population decline in others through habitat loss and pesticide application.
Termites are commonly viewed as pests in many countries, because of the damage they can cause to structures and similar nuisances. In April 2011 wood-eating termites were blamed for reportedly consuming more than $220,000 worth of Indian rupee notes
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