What does a queen termite look like?
Get ready to delve into the fascinating details of the termite queen’s appearance and her role in the colony.
1. What does a Queen Termite look like?
The queen termite stands out because she lays a lot of eggs. Her abdomen grows quite large, almost as long as your index finger, and it can appear somewhat transparent.
In terms of color, the queen termite usually matches the other termites in her colony. For instance, queens of subterranean termites are often pale or white, while those in dry wood colonies tend to be a yellowish-brown.
These color differences are useful for identifying the queens of different termite types.
2. How big is a Termite Queen?
A termite queen’s size varies depending on how many eggs she’s laying. Typically, she can grow to about 4 to 6 inches in length, which is larger than the other termites in her
colony. Because of her size, she’s not very mobile and relies a lot on the worker termites for movement and care.
3. How long do Termite Queens live?
Termite queens live a lot longer than most other insects, usually between 15 to 20 years, making them the oldest in their colony. There is even a case of a 40-years-old termite queen recorded.
Their lifespan can also be affected by where they live. Queens in nests near human homes may have shorter lives due to the risk of being discovered and removed.
However, queens in large, deep nests in less disturbed areas typically live longer because they’re less likely to be bothered.
4. How to find Termite Queen?
To locate a termite queen, you need to search in the right places. She typically resides deep within the termite mound or underground due to her enlarged body, which limits her mobility.
Finding her requires digging deep into the center of large termite mounds, a challenging task as she is not visible from the outside, unlike worker or soldier termites.
5. What happens when a Termite Queen naturally dies?
When a termite queen dies of natural causes, like old age, it doesn’t immediately spell the end for her colony. The worker termites, who diligently care for her throughout her life, will face her loss eventually.
However, the colony has a built-in survival mechanism. Some of the eggs the queen laid during her lifetime can develop into new queens.
These successors have two options: they can either take over the existing colony or emerge as alates (winged termites) and fly off to establish new colonies elsewhere.
Thus, even after the natural death of the queen, the colony can continue to thrive and grow.
6. How to get rid of a Termite Queen?
To effectively eliminate a termite colony, targeting the queen is essential. The strategy involves using methods that ensure the queen is removed and that no new queens can ascend to her position.
However, killing the queen termite is difficult. She is often well-guarded by soldier termites, making direct access almost impossible. Traditional methods like traps are ineffective as the queen rarely moves and is unlikely to encounter them.
Poison is a more effective method. Worker termites feed the queen, tasting the food first. If the food is poisoned, the queen will eventually consume it and die. However, this method is challenging as worker termites are likely to die from the poison before it reaches the queen.
Fumigation is another technique, particularly against drywood termites. It involves using toxic fumes to kill all termites, including the queen. The effectiveness of this method varies depending on the termite species and colony location.
In summary, discovering what does a queen termite look like is just the beginning of understanding these complex creatures and their impact on our homes.
For more intriguing facts and practical advice on handling various pests, keep exploring our blogs at Pestweek.
Calina Mabel has over 15 years of experience in the field of journalism and communications. Currently, Calina Mabel is the Content Writer for categories such as Cockroach, Ants, Bed Bugs, Mosquito, Rodent, Termite, and Flies on Pestweek.com. She aims to build content for these categories with a focus on providing valuable and accessible information to readers, in order to create the world’s largest knowledge community about Pests.
All content written by Calina Mabel has been reviewed by Emily Carter.