In the heart of a termite nest is a chamber called the queen’s chamber. Here, along with her king, resides the mother of all mothers whose job it is to control the size of her colony, divide the labor of the colony, and serve as its chief reproduction officer.
What do we know exactly about this beautiful creature whose influence and behavior causes millions of damage to homes and businesses across the country each year?
After pairing with the king, the queen begins the task of starting a colony. The termite queen’s head is similar in size to her fellow colony members. However, her abdomen can grow to four inches in length or the size of a human index finger and is constantly in labor. She cares for her first off-spring to establish the worker caste who then take care of future eggs on her behalf.
But don’t worry, the Queen’s sacrifice isn’t in vain. She is well taken care of by millions of sterile worker termites whose job is to feed her, groom her, and carry away those precious eggs to hatching cells or nursery chambers to nest. If just one queen can produce more than 1,000 eggs in a single day and up to 9 million eggs in her lifetime, she deserves to be pampered.
The queen reigns supreme as the main producer of eggs by suppressing the growth development of other queens with the use of pheromones. As the colony grows, however, she may permit a few of the termite nymphs to full develop into what is called secondary or supplemental queens to provide sufficient eggs for the continual growth of the colony. When weather conditions are optimal, the queen produces alates (winged offspring) which leave the colony to form new colonies. These alates are also known as Spring Swarmers. These swarmers will take a short flight, mate, and colonize under a new Queen.
How can you prevent a termite infestation and de-throne the queen from her reign?
As termites are complicated insects, it is best to allow trained professionals to handle the job. Keep in mind that there are probably several colonies on your property right now within close proximity to each other. The termites inhabiting these colonies are always looking for the opportunity to feast on your fortune. Contact your local pest management professional to learn more.
Remember, you have a fighting chance against termites and other common household pests with the installation of EPA-registered TAP® Pest Control Insulation. Learn more.
Happy Mother’s Day from the TAP® Pest Control Insulation team.