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If the thought of termites settling into your home terrifies you, just wait until you learn more about how they operate. They are non-stop eating and sleeping machines. They stop only long enough to reproduce or to build new tunnels to reach new sources of food.
Fortunately, something that is integral to their reproductive cycle is also something that helps you identify that you have termites in your house. Of course, getting a Glendale termite inspection and ongoing termite treatment is the best thing you can do to keep your home safe, but a little education can help you spot signs of a problem early.
Termite Caste System:
Before you learn about the reproductive cycle of termites, there’s something important you need to know: Termites develop into one of three caste members. All termites start life as larva when they are hatched from the egg, and then they develop into nymphs.
After a series of molts, termites develop into either a soldier, a worker, or a reproductive member of the caste system. Each has a different physical makeup that allows them to do the job to which they are assigned in the colony. For example, a soldier has a large head with large mandibles for defending the colony. However, this large upper body makes it hard for it to feed itself. Therefore, the worker termites feed the soldiers.
If there is a shortage of a certain class in the colony, termites can actually change their caste status. In other words, a solder can become a worker, a worker can become a reproductive member, and so on.
Termite Reproductive Class:
When members of the reproductive class become mature, they develop wings and functioning eyes so that they can leave the colony and seek out mates. They also develop harder exoskeletons so they can withstand the dryer and harsher conditions outside the colony.
Reproductive termites swarm to mate, and then their wings fall off. They form their own colonies and become the kings and queens of those colonies. The king and queen termites are the only fully mature termites in the whole colony. The queen can actually live up to 10 years if the conditions are right, whereas the workers and soldiers only live about a year or two.
The fact that reproductive termites shed their wings after mating is a great boon to homeowners. Those wings are often the only signs that homeowners notice when there is a termite problem. The wings will typically be found along window sills or near other openings of the house, such as on the ground near the windows or the doors.