IDENTIFYING AND GETTING TO KNOW TERMITE LARVAE

03/17/2015

As the queen termite lays eggs daily, the eggs are immediately whisked away by worker termites assigned to a nursery within the nest. There they incubate and hatch. Not so cute.

If you want to identify newly hatched termite larvae, they are very small, but otherwise look just like the workers who care for them until they are old enough to take care of themselves.

The bodies of termite larvae may physically change as they grow and prepare for future assignments. They soon find themselves on one of two pathways – that of a worker termite or a nymph.

A worker termite has a very slight chance of someday becoming a soldier, while a nymph is destined to later become one of the reproductive stage termites.

THE WORKER PATH

Worker termites seek out wood for food, chew it up, digest it and then regurgitate the digested materials for all of the other termites to feed on. They also pass protozoa and bacteria to other worker termites so they too will have the tools needed to digest wood.

Workers also perform other jobs needed to keep the colony operating successfully, such as building mud tunnels and caring for young termite larvae, soldiers and the queen. If the queen termite decides that more soldiers are needed, she calls on some of the workers to help defend the colony. Their heads enlarge and they grow large mandibles as weapons of destruction against their enemies.

THE NYMPH PATH

Termite larvae that have become nymphs may have the opportunity – at the discretion and under the direction of the queen – to lay their own little batch of termite eggs.

They may develop into either a secondary queen, helping the queen by continuously laying eggs to grow the colony much larger, or they may develop into a swarming reproductive termite with wings and leave the nest to try to start a new termite colony.

WHAT IF I SEE TERMITES?

In your home, the development of termites into functioning members of the colony can make a bad situation much worse. It’s how the colony grows and consumes more and more of your home.

In your home, the development of termites into functioning members of the colony can make a bad situation much worse. It’s how the colony grows and consumes more and more of your home.

 

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