What You Don’t Know About Termite Swarms?
Many different types of insects swarm, and most people assume that the term “swarm” means the same thing for all insects. When insects swarm they are obviously flying or traveling in groups. Of course that much is true, but insects swarm for different reasons and under different conditions. The purpose of an insect swarm depends on the insect type. For example, when killer bees swarm they are moving in for an attack. But when honey bees swarm they are merely searching for a new nesting site. So why do termites swarm? Termites swarm in order to establish new colonies. This much may have been well known to most people. But termites only swarm under particular conditions.
Termites begin to swarm once a colony reaches a large enough size, and maturity level. It takes about four years for a colony to become numerous enough to begin swarming. You may be aware that termite swarmers are known as alates. A colony of termites must produce a certain number of alates before swarming can occur. But this is not the only factor that determines when a colony is able to swarm. Environmental conditions must also be just right in order for alates to begin swarming. There are three factors that determine when a termite colony can begin swarming. One factor is the age of the colony. The second factor is the number of alates, and the number of alates must be proportional to the size of the colony. And the third factor inolves climatic conditions, which are usually warm and rainy.
It comes as a surprise to many to learn that termites can sometimes swarm even if the colonies maturity is not ideal for swarming. There are other factors that can prompt a colony of termites to begin swarming. For example, if a colony does not have enough food or water it may swarm to a location where sustenance is plentiful. Nearby insecticides can also cause colonies to swarm in order to escape possible death. In addition to these factors, a sudden change in atmospheric pressure, such as an oncoming thunderstorm, can prompt termite colonies to swarm even if a colony is lacking in maturity. As far as insect swarming behaviors are concerned, termites are relatively complicated.
Have you ever witnessed a termite swarm within a building?Tags: Termite Swarms