Pest Library » Formosan Termites

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Formosan Termite (Coptotermes formosanus)
Alates, or swarmers, are about 1/2-inch overall length, including the wings.
Alates are yellowish brown
Formosan termite colonies begin small, with a single pair of reproductives - a king and a queen - but may grow to contain several million individual termites. Initially, the king and queen establish the new colony by producing 15 to 30 eggs. Two to four weeks later, the nymphs hatch and are nursed by the reproductives. The queen deposits a second batch of eggs one to two months later. The first batch of nymphs takes over the nursing responsibilities. The first new termites produced are workers. As the colony grows, soldiers are produced and finally, three to five years after the colony is started, winged reproductives are produced. A mature queen can live more than 15 years and deposit as many as 1,000 eggs per day. A mature colony may produce more than 20,000 reproductive alates each year. Alates, or swarmers, do not reproduce in their original colonies. They swarm out of the colony by the thousands along with alates from nearby colonies. Each alate attempts to pair with an alate of the opposite sex from a different colony. Few survive this quest. Those that are successful become the kings and queens of the new colonies. Swarming usually follows a warm, rainy day in late spring or early summer, most often in May and June, and typically occurs in the evening between twilight and midnight.