Every homeowner should be wary of a termite infestation. They are social insects that live together in discreet colonies, so you may not notice them right away. One clear indicator of a severe infestation is finding their eggs. But you may find yourself wondering, “what do termite eggs look like?”
Although the eggs don’t cause any harm, the termites inside them definitely will. Keep reading to learn what termite eggs look like and what it means when you see them.
Where Do Termite Eggs Come From?
The following members of a termite colony play roles in egg production.
The queen termite is the biggest in the colony, several times larger than other termites. The queen’s only function is to lay eggs, and she can lay thousands in a single day. The queen can also live up to 25 years, producing millions of eggs throughout her life span.
Their egg production rate depends on several factors, such as age and species. Climate also affects egg production. Tropical regions encourage constant egg production, while places with a cold winter cause egg production to slow or stop.
After the queen termite lays eggs and they hatch, the workers take over. They care for the termite nymphs until they mature. The young termites then start performing duties in the colony either as reproductives, soldiers, or workers.
The workers are responsible for taking care of newly hatched termites until maturity, providing food, and caring for the nest. Termite workers are small, wingless, and soft-bodied. They have strong biting and chewing mouthparts.
Workers usually have the highest number in the colony. Worker termites make up between 90 to 98% of a termite colony.
Reproductive termites, sometimes called swarmers or alates, are those that form new colonies. These termites have two pairs of wings. They move from their original colony to create new ones at the beginning of spring.
The male and female mate, then the queens begin egg production. After mating and egg production, the termites will shed their wings. Their very dark body is one feature that makes it easy to identify them without wings.
Termite colonies also have soldiers that guard them so reproduction can continue. Soldiers have prominent heads and have strong mandibles.
Termite eggs are tiny and oval-shaped. They are white or light brown and are protected by the queen until they hatch.
They always come in groups, forming a larger mass. Termite eggs are usually found deep in the queen’s nest (4 to 18 inches below the ground). A deeper position in the nest protects the eggs. It also creates a safer environment for the nymphs after they hatch.
Usually, termites hide their eggs in mud tubes or wooden galleries. It makes them difficult to locate without professional help. If you see clusters of eggs close to the surface of your property or without looking too deep, their nest is very close.
Finding these eggs near the surface means the queen, workers, and soldiers are very close as well. These are hallmarks of a severe infestation.
What Does it Mean When You See Termite Eggs?
Spotting clusters of termites eggs indicates an infestation since they are usually hidden deeper in nests. If you find them in the early stages of colony formation, you are lucky. It means you can start pest control.
If there are many eggs, take immediate action. Large quantities of eggs mean that their colony is already well-established. Check for other signs of a termite infestation, too, such as:
- Termite eggs in mud tubes, tunnels, trenches on dead or damp wood
- Signs of damage, small holes in wood-based or cellulose-containing products
Termites are very destructive pests. They can ruin your floors, foundation, and ceilings. Early detection and control can save you from a lot of damages and costly repairs.
You need professional help to detect and control termites and protect your property effectively. Stampede Pest Control offers guaranteed termite inspections and treatments. Call today to schedule an appointment or get your free estimate!