Division of Labor Allows Termites to Maximize Damage to Your Home

Living in huge colonies governed by a strict caste system, the Eastern subterranean termites found in New Jersey inflict considerable structural damage on Monmouth and Ocean County homes every year. Division of labor allows NJ termite colonies to grow quickly and cause maximum damage to your home.

Termite colonies are divided into four castes with each caste having a specific function in the colony. In addition to the reproductives discussed in our previous post, there are:

Soldiers are the colony’s defenders. Twice the size of worker termites, soldiers have overly-large “armored” heads that nearly double the insect’s length. When actively protecting the colony, soldiers excrete a sticky fluid that traps invaders which they then crush in their large, strong mandibles.

Workers forage for food, feed and groom the colony, tend the queen and nursery, and maintain and enlarge the nest. Traveling through tunnels they build between the nest and the wood they feed on, workers digest cellulose, returning to the nest to feed the colony by regurgitation and excretion.

Swarmers, called alates, are specialized winged reproductives that are produced when the colony outgrows local food sources. Produced between March and June, swarmers crawl to the surface before pairing off for a nuptial flight. Males die after reproducing, but females land, bite off their wings and burrow into the ground to found a new colony. Unfortunately, termites are poor fliers, often landing nearby and leaving your Monmouth County home open to multiple termite attacks.

The discovery of swarmers congregating on lawns or near building foundations is often the first visible sign of a termite infestation. If you find swarmers on your property, call Allison Pest Control’s expert termite exterminators NJ immediately. Swarmers indicate the presence of a large, mature termite colony on the property that should be treated immediately.