In the termite world, a colony is made up of workers, soldiers and swarmers. Workers maintain the colony, construct or repair the nest, and forage for food for the colony. Soldiers are sterile, and their main role is to protect the colony. Neither workers nor soldiers have wings.
Swarmers, also known as reproductives, have two pair of wings, which lie flat over the abdomen when not in use. In the springtime, after the last freeze – usually when temperatures reach about 70 degrees – the young adult male and female swarmers emerge from their nests in large groups. The female termites release ‘mating pheromones,’ much like perfume, to entice male termites. Once the male locates an alluring female, they break off their wings, symbolizing that they are a couple. The new couple then select a nest location, mate, and become king and queen of a new colony. The queen has been known to live for 30 or more years.Swarms (and the shed wings left behind) are often one of the only outwardly visible signs of the existence of termites. Because of this, many people are under the misconception that termites are only a problem in the spring. However, some termite species – including subterranean termites – can remain active (though out of sight) year-round, especially in warmer climates. In these cases, termites can be at work, eating away at wood 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
If you’re concerned that you have termites in your home or place of business, give Dave a call at 1-800-400-6009.