Basic information on Termite Colonies

One of the most known insects for living in an orderly fashion of society, aside from wasps, ants and bees, are termites. Here are some quick facts on termite colonies that you might find interesting. Read on and you just might find some tidbits of information that makes termite colonies stand out from the rest of the eusocial insects.


Caste System

Termites actually follow the caste system – a type of social stratification that basically works by segregating the classes and putting them in a hierarchy. In a termite colony, there are workers, soldiers and of course, the reproducers. Each class has its responsibilities with the workers providing food for the colony and the soldiers protecting the colony against threats. In a termite colony, there is a primary queen – the termite whose sole responsibility is to lays eggs to populate the colony. The queen termite however, has a faithful king termite who will continuously mate with her. The reproducer classes, otherwise known as alates, are candidates for replacing the queen should her lifespan be complete. Primary queens can live for a good 50 years. Alates can also become kings and queens for a multiple king and queen colony of termites.



There are two ways in which colonies of termites expand their territories. The first of which is swarming. With swarming, swarms of termites identified as alates leave the colony during warm weathered seasons, specifically spring. Swarming won’t last very long as alates are very poor fliers. Once they identify a good place to create a colony, they will proceed to building it. The other propagation method is called budding. Budding happens when the primary queen dies and an alate takes its place. Another scenario is when a part of the colony has become totally separated in terms of access with the main colony so alates become kings and queens to form a sub colony. Contact a professional pest exterminator for any pest problems at home.


Parts of the colony

A termite’s colony is like that of a metropolis. It is made up of several chambers that have specific purposes as well as a large number of complicated paths that lead from one chamber to another, including the entrance and exit point of the colony. Included in their colonies are chambers that will help circulate air in their system. A chamber for the king and the queen are kept separate from the nursery and incubation chamber. Termites also have a cellar which they use to store food and water for the whole colony.

Pest control is an effective home-maintenance technique that should be perform once a year.