How Does a Termite Colony Form?

Termites are among a homeowner’s worst fears, and understandably so. The damage can go undetected until it becomes widespread, potentially costing the homeowners thousands of dollars in repairs. The most effective strategy is to be on the lookout for signs of termite infestations, and to call a pest control company right away if you suspect your home has been targeted by these tiny invaders.


The Start of a New Termite Colony

New termite colonies can be formed during the mating season (late winter or early spring) when termites swarm. This is when the males and females of an established colony leave their territory to mate. At this point, both males and females have wings. They take advantage of the wind to enable them to travel long distances. While they’re looking for the perfect mate, they also keep an eye out for an ideal location for a new colony, such as under a crawl space or in a building.


The Beginnings of a New Colony

Once the mating pair has found an ideal location for the new colony, they shed their wings and settle down. The first task is to dig into moist soil and carve out the royal chamber. The king and queen use saliva, waste products, and soil to seal the chamber. Then they mate. Within a short period of time, the queen lays her first batch of eggs. She will continue to mate and produce more eggs. A mature female can lay thousands of eggs in a single year. She is responsible for populating the new colony.


As the Termite Colony Matures

As the new colony grows larger, the queen may allow the existence of additional reproductives. Reproductives are termites other than the queen and king who are capable of procreating and adding to the colony’s population. The queen may decide the colony needs more reproductives when more workers are needed to feed the growing colony. As the termite colony nears maturity, it may contain anywhere from 60,000 to one million termites. When the colony is about six to seven years old, it will send out swarmers of its own to find mates and establish their own colonies.

At Essential Pest Control, we can set up either chemical barrier protection or a targeted baiting system to deal with termites on your property. Our pest control technicians will customize a treatment plan that works for your needs. Call us at (520) 908-6251 to request a service visit to your property in Tucson, Oro Valley, or beyond.

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