Hello folks who initially thought termite fumigation tents were bounce houses for a kid's birthday party,

Hearing the word "Termites" in a conversation sends a shiver down the spines of most people because they eat into the million dollar valuation of an average house in the Bay Area.


Termites might look like ants and people think they are related to them, but they are not.
They belong to same order as Cockroaches.




Western Subterranean termites are so called because they spend time with their family in underground colonies and will leave their homes just to snack on some cellulose in your homes.

After the colony has become large enough which can take anywhere from 4 to 7 years, they will send future kings and queens to spread their genes.
Below are a few of those queens and kings getting ready to flex their wings.



Even though no termite posts it on Nextdoor, all the colonies of the same species in the adjacent neighborhoods are leaving their colonies at the same time, this is important so they have a more diverse genetic pool.

Despite having 2 pair of wings, these kings and queens are not skilled at flying. They will simply wait for the winds to pick them up and transport them to a different place. You will see the winged termites flapping their wings when they leave their colonies, but you can tell it is not genuine just as those folks who claim they enjoy Thanksgiving dinner just for the cranberry sauce. 
Once they land like paratroopers, they will walk a little and eject their wings by arching their abdomens.

Here is one winged termite in the process of removing its wings.



The now wingless females are emitting a scent pheromone to attract the males who once landed, will remove their wings and rush towards the female.
Here they will display courtship behavior where both the male and female will keep on running around. I wonder if it is to check if this couple is fit enough to enroll together for the next 5K race.

Once they feel they are right for each other, they will dig a hole inside the ground and then seal it. There they will start their family and live to a ripe age of 30 years old or more.

Below is a couple displaying courtship behavior.



Another interesting fact about termites is the caste system they share in the colony. So they have a king, a queen, workers, soldiers, future reproductives (kings and queens).

Everyone except the king and queen(both current and future ones) are blind. It makes sense though, why do you need eyes if you are constantly going to be working in the dark and not going to binge watch anything on Disney+.
Soldiers are just 4-8% of the total workforce and their job is to protect the colony from intruders.

Here is a blind soldier showing it's a tough cookie and not to be messed with.



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