Hello folks who wonder if not filling the emergency contact details on a form is the same as wearing DNR wristbands,

What does the first rainfall of the season bring?

  • Clogged gutters
  • Drivers suddenly forgetting how to drive
  • Fallen tree limbs
  • Leaky roofs
  • Congested street drains
  • Regrets of forgetting to get the windshield wipers fixed 
But there is one more thing that takes place every year but most people are too busy to notice. The first sunny day after the initial rains flicks a biological switch among the future termite kings and queens (also called Alates by the geeks). Question for you, what do you call someone who shows up at the party after the pizza has already been devoured? "ehhh...LATE!". But these to-be creators of munchy munchy things that will devour your house are neither early nor late, they are just in time. The warmer temperatures and moist soil cause all termite colonies to simultaneously leave their colonies on the same day, away from the comforts of sharing the same Netflix and Disney+ accounts that are paid by their parents and seek mates.

This is what you might see at the entrance of a Western Subterranean Termite colony on the day they are about to leave their colonies for good.

The alates have darker colored bodies since they will be exposed to the sun, the other termite castes like the soldiers and workers have lighter colored bodies and can desiccate in sunlight since they don't have the typical insect armor, but they don't need it since they work mostly in the dark.

Now this is where the drama unfolds. Since these alates have never actually used their wings or had any flight safety lessons before, it takes them a while to find their bearings. And that is precisely what I am interested in. Observing the comedy of errors. Isn't that what life is all about? Laughing at the misery of others.

While some crash on to their brothers and sisters. And that is why kids, we have to go through a behind-the-wheel test to get our driver's license.

While some alates will play victims because that is the cool thing to do these days. Below are some alates whose wings are stuck to the dew on the Ginkgo leaf. Someone give these folks twitter accounts; they are destined for success.

But once they manage to fly away it is a spectacle to watch.

Later that day, once they find their mates, they will land on the ground and eject their wings. (wanna see how, click here). Once their wings are ejected, they will seek each other and follow the other mates' lead to find a suitable place to burrow under and establish their colony (make babies to be honest), which is why the rains are essential as it makes it easier to dig. Awww, such a cute couple, makes you want to forgive them for the thousands of dollars' worth of damage they will end up causing to your house in the future.

So next time after the first rain of the season, take a moment and admire this spectacle that happens every year whether you like it or not.

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