Brrrr! Termites are just like us when it comes to cold weather-they hunker down and wait it out.
As true of all cold-blooded creatures, temperature strongly influences termite activity. Studies have shown that subterranean termites will not forage in areas where upper level soil temperatures are either too hot or too cold. Optimum temperatures for termites range from 75°F to 95°F (24°C to 35°C). At temperatures above 100°F or below 25°F, termites may die in a matter of minutes. Through their movements, termites are able to avoid such extremes and exploit areas where temperatures are more suitable. During the year, for example, the center of colony activity may shift from the outer to inner portion of a log, or from the soil surface to areas deep underground where temperatures are more moderate.
Research on subterranean termites in Arizona and California indicate that termites seek out cooler, shaded areas when temperatures at the soil surface get too hot. It also has been suggested that subterranean termites can detect temperature gradients in the soil and use “thermal shadows” cast by vegetation (or presumably a house), to help locate above ground food sources. Termites may vary their foraging activities throughout the day and from season to season in response to sun exposure and heating of the soil surface.