Termites may be one of the most feared pests, but they’re also one of the most fascinating—to termite experts and entomologists, anyway. As destructive as they are to family dwellings and business structures, their colony formation and caste system are intriguing to pest pros. Termites live through a very unique life cycle in which they are eventually assigned a unique “role” depending on the needs of the colony.
From nymphs and reproductive (warmers) to queen termites, there are many castes within a termite colony. Today, the experts at Loyal Termite & Pest Control are here to focus on two of the main roles: worker and soldier termites. Read on to learn more!
Termite Caste System
The most important individual in a termite colony is the queen termite. 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. Reproductive termites, also known as swarmers, will leave the termite colony to mate and form new colonies. These termites are often confused for flying ants. Beyond the reproductive castes and the queen, the main population of a termite colony is made up of workers and soldiers.
Termite Workers vs. Soldiers
Termite workers and soldiers make up the majority of a colony. Here’s how they differ:
- 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.
- Termite 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.
Termite Colonies in Eastern & Central Virginia
It is important for all homeowners to understand termites in general and why they can be so destructive to the structure of your home and/or business. If you think you have spotted a termite colony in or near your property, it’s time to contact the termite exterminators at Loyal Termite & Pest Control.
The Termite World – Workers & Soldiers in Virginia
Serving the Henrico and Richmond VA area since 1960