Termites aren’t just powerful at destroying our homes. New research by North Carolina State University has determined that termite kings and queens emit a pheromone that can leave worker termites shaking in their boots. This chemical determines caste systems in termite colonies. Kings and queens will use chemicals to assert their royal status over the worker termites. This study gives more information as to termite evolution, the way they behave and the way they can be treated. Another study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences states that because termites live mostly underground or in wood and are generally blind, they require chemical signal to communicate. This study also concluded that termites use a two-step recognition process. One odor provides the workers with a ‘home’ base and another lets the workers know that royals are present. The presence of royals reassures the workers that all is well in the colony!
Termite Colony Structure; Workers, Soldiers, Queens & Kings
Termite colonies are made up of a caste system where different types of termites work together with specific jobs to keep the colony thriving. Workers gather food, feed and groom the other termites. They will chew through plastic, plaster and other materials just to find wood and may travel up to 250 feet away from the main colony to get it. Soldiers build shelter and protect the colony from unwanted guests. They are larger than the workers with larger mandibles to defend the colony. Reproductives and alates produce young. The king and queen are the ones that established the colony and are the primary reproductive. Reproductives create new colonies through swarming and budding. Alates help the queen in growing the colony. As the queen lays eggs, so will the alates. These eggs are fertilized by the king, so the colony can grow even faster. Termites need food, water and shelter for survival. Termites will work together to ensure these conditions are met. It takes two to four years for a colony to mature and colonies can last for years. If they go undisturbed and grow their colonies, the queen can live for up to ten years or longer. Even when the original queen dies the colony continues. Alates will continue to lay eggs until a new queen is chosen. Termites need food, water and shelter for survival. Termites will work together to ensure these conditions are met. They will look for a place to establish a colony, such as the ground in the crawlspace under your home, or in the 2 by 4s that are used to build your home.
Termite Inspections, Control & More in Austin, Round Rock, Leander, Pflugerville & Cedar Park, Texas
Termites eat non-stop, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and are often called “silent destroyers”. Every year, termites cause more than $5 billion dollars in damages. Termite control is not a pest problem you can deal with on your own. If you suspect you’re dealing with termites, have an inspection done right away. Professionals like A-Tex Pest Management know how to treat a termite colony, so they will stop destroying your home. Contact A-Tex Pest Management for a treatment plan today!