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As the termite colony grows, specialized castes are produced for the different tasks required. The first caste of subterranean termites produced is the workers. The second caste is the soldiers. Soldier have an elongated head with pincer-like mandibles. The third caste is the reproductives.

There are two types of reproductives, primary and supplementary, and each has different functions. Supplementary reproductives have either no wings or very short non-functional wings. Primary reproductives have four wings of equal size. Primary reproductives start new colonies and are the termites most often seen in the open. They are commonly referred to as “swarmers.”

Although thousands of primary reproductives are produced each year, they all leave the nest. Primaries cannot become reproductive if they remain in their colony of origin. In a Formosan colony, the only primaries that reproduce are the original king and queen that started the colony. Supplementary reproductives, on the other hand, can become reproductive only in the colonies in which they were born. They take over reproduction when the primary king or queen dies or becomes separated from the main colony.

If you’re concerned about termites around your home or place of business, give Dave’s Pest Control a call at 1-800-400-6009.