Termites are small insects that cause large amounts of damage. A colony’s life span can last up to 50 years. During that time several generations can fill the nest. A termite colony is divided into three different castes: Reproductives, Soldiers, and Workers. And each caste has a different life-span. Below is a little more information on the castes and their roles in the colony.

Reproductive Termites

Reproductives are the only caste in the colony that has wings or the ability to see. Both of these traits are  necessary for the colonization process because they have to leave the colony to reproduce. Thus, they are the only caste that is able to reproduce. There are four divisions of the reproductive caste: Alates; de-alates; kings and queens; and neotenics. Young reproductives that have not yet mated are called “Allates.”  They become “de-alates” when they leave the nest to mate and colonize. During this they shed their wings. Also during this time they only produce a limited amount of eggs. This is because they need to wait until the new colony is fully formed and can support increased numbers. Once the colony is large enough to produce many eggs – almost up to 1,000 every day – the de-alates become kings or queens. The neotenic caste helps the queen to lay her eggs during peak egg production. A neotenic is able to step up and take the place of the queen if she dies.

Soldier Termites

Soldier termites are both male and female. They are sterile, wingless, and blind termites. Their role in the colony is to defend the colony from unwanted intruders by using their powerful jaws. They emit a white sticky substance that repels invaders. Because their jaws are so large they are incapable of feeding themselves and have to be fed by worker termites. This caste’s life only lasts one to two years.

Worker Termites

Just like the soldier termites, worker termites are sterile, wingless, and blind termites. They can be male or female. This caste performs vital tasks for the entire colony. They build the nest, excavate galleries, gather food, and feed the colony’s reproductive termites and soldier termites. The life span of a worker termite lasts one to two years.

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Arizona Termite Control

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Termite Control Chandler
2040 S Alma School Road 
Suite 1
Chandler AZ 85286
(480) 582-1219
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