The Termite World – Meet the Castes

Eastern subterranean termites found in Eastern & Central Virginia - Loyal Termite & Pest ControlTermites are some of the most prolific pests in the world, tearing through the wooden structures of our homes and causing more damage than any other insect. They are able to work so efficiently by breeding different types of termites for separate tasks, streamlining the ability for their colonies to grow. Our technicians at Loyal Termite & Pest Control are here to help teach you all about the differentiation of termite castes and what to look for to identify them. Read on to learn more about termites!

What Kind of Termites Live in Eastern & Central Virginia?

Here in Eastern & Central Virginia, we are tasked with dealing with the eastern subterranean termite. This particular species of termite is responsible for over $5 billion in damage costs in the United States every year! The last thing you want for your home is an infestation of eastern subterranean termites.

You can identify these termites by their bulbous heads and abdomen and their brownish-black colors. They are often found in crawl spaces, interior walls, basements, and other areas susceptible to moisture buildup. If they are in your home, you should also be able to find mud tubes that they’ve tunneled through around your property.

Termite Castes

Termite colonies contain three distinct categories of termites: workers, soldiers, and reproductives. Here are the main differences between the three:

  1. Soldiers: Soldier termites break off from the others after the larval stage, at which point the larvae can either develop into nymphs or soldiers. They have darkened, enlarged mandibles and bulbous heads.
  2. Workers: Workers are responsible for wreaking havoc on our homes. They have light tan-colored bodies and no eyes. They remain in the dark, chewing through a wood to get to the cellulose.
  3. Reproductives: There are actually three tiers of reproductive termites. The darker, winged ones that you might have found in your house are called swarmers or alates, and they are responsible for spreading the colony to new places and reproducing.

What to Do If You Find Termites

If you notice a few termites in your home, especially swarmers, it could be a sign that there has been an active infestation in your home for a while. They are stealthy pests that are equipped to move undetected for a long time. Be sure to contact your local pest control company right away before your termite issue gets out of hand. The technicians at Loyal Termite & Pest Control can use a variety of termite control strategies to limit damage and quickly eliminate the active infestation. Contact us today for a free quote!