Eastern Subterranean Termites
There are numerous termite species native to the United States. Eastern subterranean termites (Reticulitermes flavipes) are a subterranean species found primarily in the South and on the East Coast. These insects can have a large economic impact on homeowners, due to their dense distribution.
Eastern subterranean termites are social insects, using their collective might to accomplish large-scale tasks. Established infestations can range from 5,000 to millions of insects and are divided into three castes in any given colony. Workers are responsible for food and maintenance, while soldiers use their oversized mandibles to protect their colonies. Reproductive termites, known as kings and queens, ensure that colonies grow in population.
Unlike some other insect species, reproductive male termites mate throughout their lives, and males do not die immediately after mating. Eastern subterranean reproductive termites do shed their wings after mating swarms, at which time they go on to found new colonies.