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Termite Reproduction and Dispersal


Subterranean termite colonies are started from a single pairing of a male and female termite.  The pairs are formed after the reproductive flight commonly referred to as “swarms” and after mating these pairs normally begin laying eggs almost immediately. A small percentage of the reproductive swarmers will ever pair up or establish new colonies. For those successful few, it will take roughly a year for a single mated pair to grow a colony of roughly 70-80 termites.  Only a  few of these colonies will ever grow to a mature state, but if they are able to survive long enough to reach that state they could contain tens of thousands or potentially hundreds of thousands of termites, which creates a very dangerous situation for structures and people. Termite colonies send workers to look for new sources of food to supply the colony.  When an appropriate source of food is the termites may establish a subcolony closer to the food source.  This allows a continuous exchange between the new source of food and the main colony. An established subcolony is capable of developing its own reproductives and therefore capable of developing rapidly as an independent colony, should it be cut off from the primary colony for any number of reasons.

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