TERMITES

 

Termites are social insects that build large nests in soil, or wood and can cause damage to wooden structures. They are sometimes improperly called 'white ants'.

Several hundred to several million termites live together in one family. Their main goal is to work together in an organized system to find and use cellulose food source to produce a bigger colony.

Within the colony there are specialized members the workers, the soldiers, the alates (reproductive males and females), the queen, king and the nursery termites.

 

The Worker

Most workers have light colored bodies and rarely grow more that 10mm long. They are like a grain of rice. They forage for food all day and all night. They rarely leave the dark tunnels that run from the colony through the soil and into the wooden frames of buildings. They attend to the queen and her brood, nymphs and they groom and feed one another and others in the colony. Workers represent the majority of the colony population and are responsible for caring for eggs, constructing and maintaining tunnels, foraging for food and feeding and grooming of other caste members. They are white and soft bodied. Identification of the worker termite is where the "little white ant" comment comes in because the worker termite does look like a lightly colored ant.

 

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