Termites are highly social, wood-eating insects often called “white ants” however, are not actually related to the ant family. They belong to the order Isoptera which is more closely related to the cockroach although are a highly adapted version.
Termites may be very varied in colour, size and even shape with some being almost white in colour to others being dark brown. Most however, have a pale brown to white body with a darker head. There is no separation or waist between their thorax and abdomen and they have a very thin skin which causes them to be vulnerable to drying out. Due to this, they tend to enjoy humid or damp environments such as underneath houses that may have poorly ventilated sub-floor.
It is very rare to see termites out in the open as they hate light and dry heat so tend to be well hidden inside timbers leaving a veneer on the surface whilst completely gutting the insides of the timber. If you suspect that maybe this is a concern at your property, call us on 02 42717926
Termites, due to their social nature build large nests where their colonies can house several million insects with many different castes (jobs) within each colony.
Casts are responsible for different jobs within each colony, all being an integral part of the nest’s infrastructure.
The most common casts being;
- Workers; responsible for food gathering, tending to the young and queen and maintaining the nest and tunnels. Usually lighter or white in colour due to their thin skin which is prone to drying out, they are blind without wings and do not usually leave the confines of wooden structures and nest.
- Soldiers; The defenders of the colony are usually slightly larger in size than the workers however they have darker heads and large biting mandibles or long noses.
- Reproductives or “Alates” are responsible for future colonies, becoming kings and queens of future nests, undertaking colonising flights ensuring the future colonies survival. Much darker in colour than other casts, they have more durable bodies to allow them to leave the nest without quickly drying out.
Mature adult Alates have two pairs of equal-sized wings allowing them to scout new territory easily. They drop these wings before making a small mating chamber in a new location to start a new colony.