Termites are social insects and live in colonies comprised of different castes. Although they vary slightly between species, there are typically three castes in a termite colony. These three castes all work to ensure the ultimate survival of the colony. Of the three castes, soldier termites are responsible for the protection of their colony.
Do Soldier Termites Bite?
Soldier termites most often bite when attacking other pests, such as ants who invade their colonies. Though uncommon, soldiers will bite humans if they’re handled. Termite bites cause very minor irritation or pain, but are not known to spread disease.
Termites develop from eggs to larvae (nymphs), and then finally adults. Nymphs go through a series of molts as they grow into workers, soldiers, or alates. This process may take months, and adults live between one and two years.
Soldier termites have distinctively shaped heads and are typically bigger than workers. Their protruding mandibles help them protect their colonies. Soldiers have elongated bodies and are pale red, light brown, or white.
Damage Caused by Soldiers
While soldier termites don’t consume wood, they protect the workers that do. These pests communicate danger to the colony by banging their heads against tunnel walls and creating vibrations. They also assist workers in repairing tunnels and building new ones.
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