Different Behaviors of Termites that You Should Know

Different Behaviors of Termites that You Should Know

What are the different behaviors of termites that you need to know?

  1. They create a colony with a king and queen
  2. They have specific roles to play within the colony
  3. They communicate through vibrations and pheromones
  4. They search for food
  5. They build and defend their nests
  6. They swarm to find a mate


Termites are fascinating creatures with unique behaviors. Unfortunately, people don’t understand their habits and the danger they can impose on our homes. It’s important to know them as much as you can to protect your home against these destructive pests.

Although professionals from a pest control company can put proper termite pest control solutions in place, understanding the different behaviors of termites will help you know and prevent the damage they cause to your home. Read on to learn more!

They Create a Colony with a King and Queen

Similar to other insects like bees, termites have a social structure that includes a king, queen, workers, and soldiers. Each plays a significant function that we will discuss in this blog. They have a big, organized structure—that’s why there’s no such thing as a small termite problem.

When you have a termite infestation, it means there could be hundreds or thousands of termites in your home, and whatever number of termites there is in your property is highly destructive to your building.

They Have Specific Roles to Play within the Colony

As mentioned above, termites have a big colony that’s composed of up to several million insects and divided into different groups.

King and queen termites

The king and queen termites are both monogamous, which means they’re only committed to one another. The latter is responsible for producing and laying thousands of fertile eggs every year. If she dies or otherwise decides to leave the colony, a new queen from an immature (nymphal) termite or a worker can be a reproductive queen.



Since their role is to defend the termite colony by blocking the entrance or exit tunnels to their enemies, soldier termites have large specialized heads. They can injure their enemy soldiers and release toxins or poisons to further harm them.

Worker termites

They are in charge of digesting cellulose in wood products and feeding other termites in the colony. They transfer liquids or food to other termites through mouth-to-mouth or anus-to-mouth.

They Communicate through Vibrations and Pheromones

Termites are blind, so they communicate through vibrations and pheromones (chemical signals). Most of the time, they interact via pheromones. Some pheromones are done by termite-to-termite, but there are cases when pheromones are vaporous so it travels to the air.

Each termite has its own unique pheromone scent, so the queen can determine if there’s a loss of pheromone given off by a specific group. For instance, if hundreds of ants invade their colony and kill the soldier termites, the queen will immediately produce an extra number of soldiers to fill the supply.

They Search for Food

Worker termites are responsible for getting the food for the entire colony, as well as for feeding soldier termites because the latter have large mandibles, which stops them from feeding themselves.

Most of the time, worker termites can cover more than 300 feet while searching for food. Ever wonder why they are tasked to search? It’s not because they’re the workers, but they partially eat and digest food before distributing it to their other members because they’re the only ones that have the proteins necessary to digest cellulose.

They Build and Defend their Nests

Besides getting food, worker termites are also tasked to build the nest in which the colony lives. Their way of creating nests is by gluing dirt and other organic materials together to create tubes or walls.

As you might expect, soldier termites are the ones that defend their nests to protect the king, queen, and eggs. Except for their large specialized heads, they also have oversized jaws that allow them to inject poison into pests that will try to attack their nests.

They Swarm to Find a Mate

They Swarm to Find a Mate

Swarming is the most visible sign of termite behavior in your home. Termites swarm to find a mate and start new colonies. Subterranean termites, one of the termite types, can produce as many as thousands of swarmers while other species produce fewer swarmers with less noticeable swarms.

The reproductive members of the colony are responsible for this. Once they’re ready to mate, their wings will grow and cast off to get a harder external skeleton to support their body, and after that, they start flying in the air to find a perfect partner for mating.

Key Takeaway

The Topbest team just showed you the different behaviors of termites that you need to know. We hope that you’ve learned a lot and gotten an idea of why termites act differently as they infest a structure.

If you’re considering having regular termite treatment to protect your home against a termite infestation, please feel free to contact Topbest , the leading pest control service provider in the Philippines. You can set up an appointment for a termite consultation anytime for free!