Termites are fascinating little creatures. As destructive as they are to family dwellings and business structures ($5+ billion annually); their colony formation with its inhabitant’s strict discipline, and pecking order, continue to amaze the experts. Many experts refer to a termite colony as a “perfect society”. Since the beginning of time on this earth, their God-given purpose in our world has been to clean up the dead wood and debris of fallen trees in forests. A termite colony in itself is a wood eating machine. 

This is why I am very proud of my job as Loyal Termite & Pest Control’s exclusive K-9 Termite Detective. Although, termites aren’t very shy and will go about their destructive culinary business without fear; many colonies develop under slab foundations or in walls. In these cases, it is difficult to discover their presence. That’s where I step in with my handler, David Anderson, and promptly sniff them out by recognizing their distinct pheromone smell. Once discovered, our certified technicians take over. They thoroughly treat the structure, thus eliminating the termite colony or colonies. Mission accomplished!

I began this termite series speaking about the reproductive castes of a termite colony. First and foremost, the most important individual in a termite colony is the Queen. If there are a million termites in a colony; each and every one of them is there for one main purpose and that is to serve the Queen. Beyond the reproductive castes and the Queen, the main population of a termite colony is made up of workers and soldiers.

Termite workers make up the largest number of individuals within a colony. Workers are wingless, white to creamy white, and ¼ to 3/8 inch long. They do all the work of the colony; feeding the other castes, grooming the Queen, excavating the nest and making tunnels. In working, they chew and eat wood, causing the destruction that makes termites economically important.

Soldiers resemble workers in color and general appearance, except that soldiers have large, well-developed brownish heads with strong mandibles or jaws. Soldiers defend the colony against invaders, primarily ants. 

Again, as a dog who spends his working day sniffing out termites (and now bed bugs as well), it is important to me that my blog readers understand termites in general and why they can be so destructive to the structure of your home and/or business. Until next time, remember this; when it comes to termites and pest control, Hunter says, “If you got ‘em, we’ll get ‘em!!” I’ll bark at you later. Ruff! Ruff!

The Termite World – Workers & Soldiers (2) in Virginia

Serving the Henrico and Richmond VA area since 1960

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