Termites swarm for a very short amount of time. Swarms usually start on a moist, warm day. The termites will come out of the ground to mate. Their wings fall off shortly after. Most swarms last no longer than 30 minutes.
The royal couple will tend the first batch of eggs themselves, once the first batch of nymphs have grown up they then look after all the all of which will grow a bit larger in a series of moults, to become workers. These workers take over egg-tending, regurgitating wood to feed the nymphs and the ‘royals’ so the nobs can spend all their time making babies that they don’t look after.
If the soil dries out or if they have chosen a piece of wood that is too small, they will not survive the first critical summer. It takes 3-5 years for a nest to develop into a size that will pose a significant threat to homes and other structures.
There are various species of termites, in all species termites are mostly pale brown to white in colour, with no constriction between thorax and abdomen and have beaded antennae. The reproductive termites (which drop their wings to go on to become king and queen termites) have 2 pair of wings and compound eyes. Workers and soldiers are sterile and blind with the later having force-like jaws to protect the colony and measure up to 12mm, while the worker termites can measure up to 6mm.
How can you tell if you have termites?
• Mud-leads – these are tunnel like structures which the termites use to gain access to your home.
• Mud particles protruding through fibro, gyprock or any other timbers.
• Blistering of paint or plaster.
• Sagging floors or doors.
• Timber fittings bowing.
• Hollowing of timbers (i.e. upon tapping or touching).
• Power failures as termites are known to chew through electrical insulation.
If you have found termites please do not disturb the nest, call Pest Free Sydney on our toll free number (1800 15 30 10 and speak to one of our friendly experts who will send out a qualified technician who will advise you on the steps you need to take to eradicate the termites.