Identification of Termite Eggs

It is natural in areas that have termite infections to worry whether eggs are termites' eggs. However you rarely see termite eggs, they are laid in tunnels and they are not tough enough to survive outside. Most adult termites have soft translucent exoskeletons and they are very sensitive to light so they live in dark areas with moisture. The eggs that you may observe outside a colony are likely to be dead and those that are not will probably not survive the ordeal. The termites' eggs that you have to be concerned about are those that can't be seen.

The queen is capable of laying two thousand eggs in a day and these hatches into two thousand termites. The young subterranean termites hatch into three castes with three distinctive tasks. They are the soldiers who repel invaders, the reproductives, and the workers which have to feed the colony. It is the workers that cause all the damage because they feed off wood to take it back to the nest. The nymphs', soldiers and reproductives cannot feed on their own so they rely on the large number of workers. They also protect the unhatched eggs.

The termites in general cannot survive outside of their colony which means that part of a colony can be moved and it will not spread. If you use compost made from infected wood it does not spread the termites. Moving wood that is infected is often not a problem. That is because the termites only use the wood as a source of food, they actually nest in damp soil.

In certain environments a colony of termites can establish a colony above the ground but they have to have moisture. If you remove the moisture then the termites will have to vacate the nest. Any environment that is wet enough to support termites will be visibly wet from the outside.

Once a colony of termites has become established they are difficult to eradicate and whilst poisoning is used it has varying degrees of effectiveness. To eradicate and wipe out a colony you have to kill every single termite in that colony. If a queen remains she can hatch another two thousand eggs a day and all that is necessary is a few hundred workers who will provide food. If the Queen dies for any reason then one of the workers will become the queen, and all that is necessary is reproductive male and the cycle of termites eggs begins again. So it is far simple to take effective preventative measures to discourage termites from being able to create a nest.

Although termites' are invasive and destructive the reproductive process can be flawed. Every situation is unique and it is important that you are aware of the circumstances of your infestation. Serious infestations will always require professional help, but sometimes a termite problem merely needs monitoring. Termite eggs can be fragile they are easily damaged by light, sunlight and heat; they prefer dark warm humid conditions.

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By Frank Reece. Page last modified Nov. 10, 2008.

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