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How Are Termite Colonies Formed?

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What Is A Termite Colony?

Termites live at the highest level of organization when it comes to sociality. Like ants and bees, termites form colonies made up of members with different jobs, all working together for the good of the colony. 

Collectively, they care for one another and for the colony’s infants. Termite society creates generational divisions as well as division by labor. Such divisions of labor into specialized behavioral groups are also referred to as castes. 

Swarmers: What Are These Termites?

Termite colonies are made up of three castes: reproductives, workers and soldiers. Alates, or reproductive swarmers, are the only members of the colony with wings. The formation of a termite colony begins with them. 

In spring and early summer you may see winged termites in the air. These are called “swarmers” and their job is to fly away from the colony when they are mature enough and find a mate. Colonies begin when a male and female swarmer pair up and choose a nesting spot. 

After the right nesting spot is chosen, this pair will shed their wings and go underground. These alates then become the Queen and King of their newly formed colony, remaining underground for the duration of their termite lives. 

Queen Termites: What to Know

There is only ever one queen of each termite colony. The queen is largest in size physically and has a mass several times larger than that of the workers of the colony. The queen’s main function is to lay eggs to grow the colony and can lay thousands of eggs in a single day. 

Termite Colony Life Expectancy & Facts

Left undisturbed, termite colonies can survive for a very long time. 

A queen termite can live for a decade or more, producing hundreds of thousands of eggs in her lifetime. When a colony’s queen dies, the colony will continue on past her death. Alates will reproduce until a new queen is selected. 

This is why you can’t eradicate a termite colony by killing its queen. 

When to Call Pest Control Experts for Termite Colonies

Worried about termite swarms or termite colonies in your home? The best course of action when dealing with termite colonies is to find them before they get too established. 

Call Pest Control Experts today. Our professional pest control specialists are highly trained in finding the source of your termite problem and eliminating termites from your home. 

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The creator of this review received compensation by RMICPA, LLC on behalf of Terminix®. This review is the opinion of its creator and its claims are not endorsed or evaluated by RMICPA, LLC.

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