Soldier Termites

worker termite

General Description

Castes
Termite colonies are usually divided into a caste system composed of three tiers.

Role of Soldier Termites
One such caste includes infertile soldier termites, whose job is to protect the colony from predatory attacks as part of the aptly named defense class.

Not directly associated with traditional termite damage, soldiers help protect the integrity and lifespan of the colony, which indirectly results in the likelihood of structural damage in buildings with well-established termite infestations.

Identifying Features

Appearance
Some types of termites are identified by their pale white color, while others take on darker shades of brown. Termites have almost perfectly straight antennae and uniform bodies.

Defining Characteristics
Soldiers remain easily recognizable due to their enlarged mandibles, or jaws, which aid in combat. Unlike worker termites, soldiers generally have darker colored heads and/or mandibles, while also appearing significantly larger in size.

Role Within the Termite Colony

Protection
While other termites collect food or produce offspring to support the colony, solider termites provide much needed security, as the insects are frequently attacked by predators such as ants.

In fact, their jaws are perfect for defense, yet so big that soldiers must rely on worker termites to collect food and feed them to stay alive.

At the first sign of invaders, workers retreat into the colony, as soldiers sacrifice themselves outside to defend against the threat as best they can.

Damage / Problems Caused

Bites
Even though soldier termites have large jaws that are seemingly capable of causing great harm, the insects do not bite humans.

However, the problems caused by termites in general are significant and not to be taken lightly.

Damages
Notorious for causing great structural damage and costing homeowners countless dollars, termites should be controlled and removed from the premises soon after they are found.

Learn more about Western’s comprehensive Home Pest Control Plans.

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