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The reproductives reside in a central room in the nest in which a femalequeen or queenwill lay many thousands of eggs every year over her entire life span of approximately 10 years. Male, or kings, are responsible to fertilising the queens. Reproductives are commonly observed.
The young termites develop in the colony by shedding cuticles in the end of every growth stage, slowly changing until they get to the worker, soldier or adult (winged form). If queens die, some supplementary reproductives can carry on the colony as neotenics.
Reproductives are generally darker than workers and soldiers. They have functional eyes and their more robust skin (cuticle) is able to resist the external environment. After flight, unlike other insects, the deciduous wings of termites are discarded and piles of discard wings are a good hint to termite infestations.
Soldiers have bigger heads than the other castes. They are blind, wingless, and have undeveloped reproductive organs.
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Soldiers are tougher than the other castes and take longer to die from many toxins, exposure, or starvation. It is their function to defend the colony, if upset, while the damage is fixed by the workers.
Soldiers exist in different types. Many species have soldiers, with well-developed jaws (mandibles) utilized to crush attackers, like ants.
Nastute soldiers occur in Nasustitermes species and are only rarely found as pests in Victoria. They've a snout from which they eject a solution which disturbs and glues attackers.
Phragmotic soldiers have a very large head, which can be wedged in tunnels to block attackers. The termites, which use this particular strategy, are only occasional introductions to Victoria.
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The workers account for the largest number of termites within the colony, and are consequently responsible for the most damage.
They gather food construct tunnels and repair damage in addition to tending to the kings, queens and their young. These termites are believed to operate 24 hours per day throughout their life span. Worker termites are generally unpigmented. They are blind, wingless and have undeveloped reproductive organs. .
Termites hatch from eggs which have been tended by their own nest mates in specially constructed nurseries.
As soon as they are mature enough, the young work within the colony in which occupations change with age and maturity.
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Once a single colony becomes sufficiently large it generates winged reproductives that wait in specially constructed chambers until ready to leave the nest and undertake a colonising flight.
They leave the nest as a swarm under conditions of high humidity atmosphere, and at times light. Termites are not strong fliers and usually only fly around 1km, although breezes and updrafts can carry them much further.
Upon landing near a suitable nest site, the female sheds her wings and emits a calling scent. Males respond.
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They dig in and within the next few weeks, partner and take care of their young until enough workers develop to take over the maintenance roles.
New colonies are sometimes established via budding. This is believed to occur when the extremities of this colony lose contact and become independent.
The main king and queen are thought to hormones, which suppress the development of the remainder of the colony. This control breaks down if the land is too large or contact with groups is dropped.
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Termites work in nests or colonies. They hatch from eggs as larvae, which can be fed by mature termites. They then develop into castes or four kinds of termite:
Soldiers have big heads, are blind, wingless, and have undeveloped reproductive organs. Soldiers are more demanding than other castes and may take longer to control. Some species of soldier termites have strong jaws (mandibles) utilized to crush attackers, like ants.
Employees are colourless, blind, wingless and have undeveloped reproductive organs. Workers are the largest caste within a colony and are, therefore, responsible for maximum harm.
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Reproductives which are darker in color have functional eyes and robust skin. This caste becomes the pioneers of colonies.
The temperature, food grade, and action of this colony will determine how long it takes for a termite.
Nests and tunnels are stored moist because worker termites cannot stand humidity for long periods of time. The temperature within the nursery of a large nest ranges between 10 C and 35 C but varies more than one degree a day. The relative humidity is approximately 100 per cent.
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It's important to identify the kind of pest more termite before beginning treatment. This will allow you to understand the customs of this colony, find the nest and indicate the system of control.