Termites are a cohesive group, and the entire colony works together to get water, food and shelter – even if those resources are right in the middle of your home. Within the colony, termites have a caste system that separates them into three levels – soldiers, workers and reproductives. In each caste system, termites are given a specific job to keep the colony growing and alive. For example, soldiers may build shelter, reproductives will produce and take care of the young and workers will gather food for the colony.
Within the termite colony, there is a king and queen that are considered the primary reproductives, and are also the colony’s original founders. If you have a problem with termites in your neighborhood or home, you can blame it on one group – the reproductives.
Swarming and Budding
Termite colonies can spread one of two ways: swarming or budding.
- Swarming: Winged queens or kings leave the original colony and are given the task or mating and starting new colonies.
- Budding: A large colony will often produce additional queens, which serve not only as additional breeding stock, but also are a form of insurance against something happening to the colony queen, a phenomenon known as “budding”.