In the photo and picture gallery there are termites of different castes and types.
Termite castes in the mound are genetically determined. As a rule, at an early stage of termite colony development and while the king and the queen are young, the working caste dominates. The first soldiers appear during the first year of the nest existence. The queen produces winged species or alates only in 2-3 years after colony foundation.
Also you can see termite evidence photos. Very often they are indirect and faint. But nevertheless if you notice at least one of them – you should take immediate measures to eradicate the whole termite population.
Termites’ castes (soldier, worker, queen, king, alates, larvae and eggs, drywood, subterranean)
The soldiers can be large or small. Large species defend the termite mound from natural enemies, small ones warn workers about a danger and maintain order, i.e. they direct other termites’ work. There are warriors with big mandibles that will cut the foe. They are unable to consume food themselves. They get necessary nutrients thanks to worker termites.
They serve and care after other siblings in the nest: soldiers, kings, a queen, larvae and eggs, alates and additional reproductive. Thus they carry eggs from the queen to the safest place in the mound and take proper care after them. Additionally workers enlarge the mound and repair it when it is necessary – after rain or attacks of their natural enemies.
Termite queen is a female alate, which functions as a reproductive unit only. It is absolutely defenceless and even can’t move. In case of danger the queen is carried by worker termites to the other chamber of their nest. She can’t feed on herself. Without workers’ help the queen soon dies.
Termite king is a male alate. Unlike ants, termites’ winged male species remain alive after mating with the future queen. What is more, they both create a new nest and look after their first rafting. He also can’t eat himself and is dependable on worker cast.
But their flight is very short and must end in finding a new place. After mating, winged termites bite off their wings and become a king and a queen.
Only queen “knows” what cast a future termite will belong to. Scientists discovered that the queen decides which types of termite should appear more at the moment. She regulates this process with pheromones. So, when the colony is young, the queen produces more workers. After 3-5 years there hatches a first rafting of alates, becoming a sign that the colony is ready to spread itself and discover new places.
They stay inside the mound. In urgent cases, when the royal couple dies, additional reproductive should substitute them in the challenge of producing new species and save the colony. Though, these situations appear very seldom.
They prefer to settle inside the wood and never contact with the ground. Drywood termites are rather difficult to eradicate as their nest nay lie deep inside the construction. Even fumigation doesn’t give 100% guarantee of a complete elimination.
This type of termites tends to settle near the house closer to the ground, where there is enough warmth and moist. They do the most harm to people’s wood property.
The temperature and humidity are always constant inside the nest to provide ideal conditions for living and breeding young generation.
Termites’ evidences (wings, swarming, mud tubes, tunnels, frass)
They are usually left on the window-sills or near door frames during or after swarming period. The reproductive male and female after mating bite off the wings and start seeking for a refuge. Learn how to distinguish termites’ wings from ants’ – the former have equally long wings, the latter possess wings of different size.
This event is very significant for both homeowners and termites.
When the weather is rather warm and moist, workers open entry holes of the nest letting the young to fly away. Termite swarming is a great time for termites’ enemies – ants, birds and all other animals that want to taste the termites. Many alates die, and few of them manage to find a shelter. Termite swarming is not dangerous for people.
Subterranean termites mud tubes.
This is a characteristic feature for subterranean termites only. Living in the soil, they need to find food which is always wood. They don’t appear on the surface as they have very soft skin, sensitive to the sun and open air. When the delicious target is situated too beyond their direct reaching, they build the special tunnels, which consist of saliva, mud and feces.
Termite tunnels in timber.
Cut out a piece of timber from your house construction and look at it. If your house is infested by termites, there will be pathways inside. Carpenter ants also create tunnels in the wood, but the termites’ tunnels are filled with a special sticky substance, while ants’ pathways are clean and smooth.
Termites get rid of their frass by pulling is away through little holes
Termites digest the wood, absorbing all necessary nutrients. Homeowners will see rather noticeable piles of little balls, having different colours – from light to dark. They often consider this sign as just sand and throw it away without proper examination. But the frass can be one of the first signals the house is inhabited not only by humans or their friends. From this point of view, termite frass can save your house from further damage.