Subterranean Termite Biology
As the name implies, subterranean termites live in colonies below ground. Colonies consist of a primary queen, king, reproductives, workers, and soldiers. Workers of the colony generally range around 250,000 -1,000,000 or more members. Usually once or twice a year, a mature, healthy colony will produce new reproductives called “swarmers”. Swarmers usually develop during the winter months. Starting in spring, when the temperature, moisture, and light are suitable, the swarmers will emerge from the nest to start a new colony. This is the period most homeowners realize they may have a problem. Swarmers that emerge inside a structure will not survive for more than a couple of hours. They will be attracted to light so most will fly towards a window. Signs that a swarm has occurred will obviously be a pile of dead swarmers, or sometimes they are able to return to the soil before they die but will leave behind their clear wings in the hundreds.