What are the termite queen facts you need to know?
- The appearance of the queen is distinct
- The queen is tasked with reproduction
- The queen emits a special pheromone
- The other termites work for the queen
- The lifespan of the queen can span decades
Just like how ant colonies have a queen, the termite queen leads the wood munching pests in a caste system. As the most important component of the colony, all the other termites assist her. She hides deep into the nest, so you need to contact pest control services to locate her if you have a termite infestation. If you’re interested in more termite queen facts, keep on reading!
The Appearance of the Queen Is Distinct
One of the things that separate the termite queen from the rest of the colony is her appearance. As the largest member, she looks more like a worm or caterpillar than a termite. A termite queen can grow up to 6 inches when carrying a high number of eggs, so it’s easy to differentiate her from the workers.
Before a termite becomes a queen, she will look like any of the termites in the caste. But as she fulfills her role as the founder and main reproducer of the colony, her appearance will start to change. When this happens, the abdomen part of the termite queen’s body will stretch out and elongate. This makes it hard for her to move around freely.
The Queen Is Tasked with Reproduction
To understand more about the role of the queen in the colony, it is important to know more about how an ordinary termite turns into one. First, winged male and female termites, which are also known as alates, leave the main colony to mate and find a new nest. Once they find shelter, the female termite lays the eggs from which a new colony will emerge. She is the “founder” but also the main reproducer.
What makes a termite infestation problematic is the fact that termite queens can lay eggs every day. This will gradually increase every year so more termite workers and soldiers are produced. A small colony can turn into a huge problem in months.
The Queen Emits a Special Pheromone
Speaking of termite reproduction, aside from the termite queen, secondary queens can also produce eggs away from the main nest—which makes an infestation more problematic. These termites are typically located in satellite nests.
But before this happens, the main queen must permit them to reproduce first. This is done through a special pheromone she releases from her body. With these chemicals, she can block the reproductive development of the other members. Through this, the queen can control the size of the colony.
The Other Termites Work for The Queen
Apart from the termite queen and king who are tasked with reproduction, the other members also have a distinct role. Because the queen is too big to move freely, the worker termites fetch the food, build the nest, and tend to her needs. The soldiers are the ones who defend the colony from intruders.
These roles are not fixed, because the termites can adapt to fill in the current need. For example, a soldier can take on the role of the worker or become reproductive.
The Lifespan of the Queen Can Span Decades
In addition to the high capacity of the termite queen to lay eggs, she can also live for decades. Without disturbance from external forces such as a pest control team, her lifespan will last between 25 to 50 years. What this means is that she can produce a countless amount of termites in her lifetime. The peak egg production can last as long as 10 years.
When the termite queen dies naturally, the chemicals she releases will also disappear. A new queen will replace her and the colony will continue to live. This means that other methods are needed to completely get rid of a termite infestation.
A termite queen is the founder, main reproducer, and the cause of a growing termite colony. She’s responsible for how big the nest will reach, so it’s vital to stop her before the problem worsens.
Now that you know these termite queen facts, you can understand how dangerous and problematic an infestation can be. A pest control team like Topbest can provide effective methods to get rid of this problem, so you can live pest-free. If you’re interested in a free consultation, just send a message on this page today!