Understanding How Termites Live and Work

termite-71313_640In order to eliminate termites, it helps to understand how termites work and live and how their colony functions. Understanding these basic facts answers many of the commonly asked questions about termites. Termites are practice eusociality, which means that they work together to raise their young and to provide for the colony.

Termite Colonies and Classes

A termite colony has three basic classes of termites. There is the queen and the reproductive males that oversee the reproduction of the colony. The queens can live up to fifty years if protected. The workers will perform a number of duties including getting the wood to feed the queen and caring for the larvae. The soldiers are focused on defending any breeches in the security of the colony including if mud tubes are broken open or any entrances into the colony itself. The colony works together to take care of it as a whole.

Termite Nests

Termites can live in a number of different environments. Some will build their colonies underground. These are the subterranean termites. They may also build mounds that they live in. These mounds can grow quite large. Drywood termites have also built their nests inside of dry wood. These termites are not as reliant on a water source and live comfortable in areas that are not as wet as other species of termites. If the termites leave their nests to find food, they usually build mud tubes that will take them to their food course and protect them from the elements and predators. You may find signs of these mud tubes on the walls of your foundation or crawlspace.

Termite Populations

There are thousands of different termite species located around the world. Termites do not live in areas where it is cold. They do not do well in that climate which means their activity is limited in areas where it does not get warms. Termites kings and queens are monogamous. A Termite queen may initial only lay a few eggs, but the longer that she lives, the more eggs she can lay each year. The king will continue to mate with the queen until he dies, but he often lives as long as the queen. Many termite colonies have about 1000 members at a time.

Termite Communication

Termites will communicate through the pheromones that they put off. They use their antennae as part of this process. Many termites are blind and so they will not actually see each other, which allows other insects to be able to invade the colonies and coexist with them and take advantage of them as these insects can mimic certain aspects of the termites such as their pheromones or the shape of their bodies.

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