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Termite Behavior in Mantua Township, NJ; Do Termites Use Pheromones to Follow & More

The more researchers study the various pests, especially those that cause thousands of dollar worth of damages to homes like termites, the better they help us understand how to deter them. A recent study was posted that gives more insight on termite behavior that better explains the termite’s success. Ross Environmental Solutions would like to share a little more about the behavior of termites and some of the recent studies that dove deep into termite behavior.

What Do Worker, Soldier & Other Termite Castes Do?

Termites are comprised of workers and soldiers, as well as kings and queens. It is the workers job to forage for food, dig or build the nest as well as care for the eggs and larva. The soldiers patrol the nest and will ward off any invaders. Most people don’t realize that there is an ongoing war between ants and termites. They will often attack each if they are detected in their territory. The kings and queens are the reproductive members of the colony. Keep in mind there can be multiple kings to a queen and some termite species will even have multiple queen or sister colonies.

How Do Termites Work Together?

Do termites follow each other? Yes, but not in the way you may think! Termites have very poor vision, especially the subterranean termite, which are also completely blind. These termites rely on their sense of smell to carry out their duties. Recent studies delved deeper in learning how termites understand their roles within the colony. Researchers identified how the kings and queens of the colony emit a wax like hydrocarbon chemical called Heneicosane. This chemical is found on the surface of the king and queen termites. It is through this scent that the workers know who it is they need to take care of.

How Do Termites Use Pheromones?

Not only will workers respond to the scent produced by the king and queen, they even show respect. A study was conducted where they placed the Heneicosane on a dummy. Not only did the workers come to the dummy, they began shaking which was interpreted as a termite version of bowing or giving respect. Additionally, termites seem to shake more when they recognized the king or queen as one of their own nest mates. The scent produced by the royal is known to serve two main purposes. One is to help them identify and perform the needs of the queens and the other, to help recognize home, especially when there are sister colonies nearby. It is believed that all social insects, such as bees, ants, and wasps, use a similar if not the same hydrocarbon pheromone to help recognize royals. However, further studies will need to be conducted on social insect species to determine if all social species use the same method of recognition.

Termite Damage to Wood

Termites are one of the most destructive pests known. They cost billions of dollars worth of damages to home and other human structures. Termites feed on wood, decaying plants, and even roots. Nonetheless, they favor dry or damp wood and will invade homes to feed on the wood framing of the home. Depending on the species of termite, they may invade from the ground or air and favor certain types of climates.

Termite Inspections & Treatment

When termites invade your home, contact Ross Environmental Solutions. We can help treat your home for termites and any other invading pests. If you need help controlling pests around your home, contact Ross Environment Solutions today.

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