Termites are very industrious insects. They divide their tasks according to a caste system which nature has built for them. The way they produce is overlapping so they can take care of their young collectively. In order to take care of their offspring, termites need to feed on dead plant material which mostly comes from wood, soil, leaf litter and animal dung. Because of their feeding habits, 10% of the 4,000 estimated termite species are considered as pests and can cause severe structural damage to homes, buildings, plantations, crops and forests. See more information from Jenkins Pest – New Braunfels
Termites live in colonies which numbers can reach up to several million individual termites. Each colony consists of the semi-mature young called nymphs, workers, soldiers and the reproductive insects of both genders, which can sometimes contain the queens that can lay numerous eggs. The colonies have a decentralized, self-organizing systems for their activities which are guided by a type of inherent intelligence, called swarm intelligence. Using this, they acquire food resources collectively and exploit the environments available to them which they can’t do should each one decides to work on their own.
Let’s discuss each caste of termites further so we can better understand how they live and survive:
The Queen & King
The queen is a female termite that has already flown, learned how to mate and is now producing eggs. Consequently, any male termite that has also already flown, mated and is always in close proximity to a queen is called a king. Termites, on the other hand, are not monogamous creatures. There is no such thing as a monogamous royal pair. Research has shown that the nymphs are usually produced from several interchanging pairs of male and female reproductive termites. But, the same research also suggests that generally, there is only one male (king) that mates within a colony.
As their name implies, worker termites are the ones that search and forage for food, store them, take care of the nymphs, maintain their nest and defend the colony in some cases. Workers are the main caste in the colony responsible for the cellulose digestion in their food which they get from infested wood.
Soldier termites are called as such because they are naturally built with anatomical armour and behavioral specializations that allow them to protect their colony against an attack. They are very strong and some types can even exude toxic liquids through a hole in their heads or through a horn-like nozzle. On the other hand, jaws of soldiers are so big that they would need the workers to feed them.
They are the semi-mature young that sometimes act as workers too in certain colonies that have no workers per se.
As you can see, termites are very industrious and productive insects that work together laboriously to protect their colony. They can grow in huge numbers within a short period and they have soldiers that protect the entire colony against any natural attack. This is why it is very important to immediately report such termite activities to professional exterminators. You shouldn’t handle them on your own. Termites, if not eliminated thoroughly can keep coming back and will keep destroying the foundation and structure of your home. Act now before it’s too late. See our main Website