Termite Queen: Lifespan, How to Identify & Kill the Termite Queen





August 11, 2019


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Termites are extremely smart insects. Their colonies are real societies with hierarchy and social roles. Every termite caste is responsible for a particular function. A colony is ruled by a queen just like a real monarchy. She is considered the superior leader, responsible for all the colony members.

The main function of the queen is egg laying, but besides that she also monitors the functioning of other termites and gives them jobs to do. We are going to see what is the queen like, what she does in her colony, what is considered more important, and also focus on ways of finding and killing the termite queen.

How to become a termite queen?

The moment when a termite king and a queen decide to shed wings and start a family then a new colony begins. Before that, young reproductive termites were flying altogether in a swarm. After the swarm breaks up, a termite couple settles together in a place where there is enough wood and water and other necessities.

Firstly, the queen may lay not so many eggs. And in the first place only the queen and the king nurture the babies. Then the colony becomes more organised.

Theirs usually a lot of time left because queens usually live from 20 to 50 years. Soon after the colony possesses enough workers to do the jobs and take care of the babies and the queen herself. Therefore, starting from this time the queen can lay an extremely large number of eggs.

As time goes on, the queen becomes much larger and is able to produce great number of termites. Some of the eggs laid by the queen can become queens and not soldiers or workers due to their potentials. So they live in the colony, and when the old queen dies, they take her place.

It is considered a great quality for termite colonies. Nobody dies in the colony, the usual functions continues and without requiring the need to start a new colony. More than that, there can be more than one queen in a numerous colonies.

READ ALSO: Formosan Termite: Identification, Causes, Prevention & Treatment Cost

The appearance of Termite queen

The termite queen is a female insect which is really large compared to other colony members. The Queen’s abdomen is one of the reason why she is big as she should be able to lay a great number of eggs. Her length is about 10 cm. She possesses a big white abdomen. To an extent the abdomen is a hundred times bigger than a typical termite, but the head and leg remains the same size.

As a Matter of fact you may think that such queen should look weird or odd to other termites. But due to being blind and staying in a dark place they are unable to see her properly.

But the queen has not always been like that all the time. The kings and queens are the same size during the swarming time. But after a while, when they shed their wings and settle down, then slowly the queen starts her increase in size. termite queen size become large at the end. A subterranean termites queen can greatly change in color from pale yellow-brown to black.

Photos of Termite queen

What does the queen termite look like? Let’s see termite queen photo:

termite queen

termite queen

Egg laying by Termite queen

Immediately the queen and the king start their own new colony, the queen starts laying a lot of eggs within this time. When she is matured enough then she has the ability to lay hundreds and even thousands eggs per day. Termites are different from ants in need of periodical mating. So, fertilizing the queen is the main and only function of the king.

lifespan of the Termite Queen

Termite queen lifespan? The royal termite couple lives in a special cell, Royal chamber. Usually located in the very center of the nest. Which is a special cell with thick walls and a great number of passages coming out. The workers use the outlets to come in and out, caring the queen, feeding her, carrying the laid eggs off to the nurseries.

Constantly the workers lick the queen to maintain delicate pheromone balance in the whole colony.
The reward the workers get as their reward for the hard work the juice. The queen discharges this juice from her behind. It has an ability to arouse the workers to do various jobs in the colony next time.

READ ALSO: Pictures of Termites: How to identify Termites

As a matter of fact, the queen and king rule in the colony with the help of pheromone signals. A mature queen cannot walk, due to the fact that while she lies on her stomach her legs can’t even reach the ground. If for some reason she needs to go anywhere, the worker termites are going to carry or roll her to the place. Dozens and dozens of workers are needed to move her now due to her heavy size.

Interesting facts about termite queen

Though this hasn’t been proved yet, but there is such version whereby Scientist think the queen with her progeny is able to teleport herself to a safe place in the case of a danger.

Ivan T. Sanderson, An American researcher studying animals and their behavior, notes in his book “Paranormal ants Atta and teleporting Queen” that termites as well as ants know about a way of teleportation of the colony’s most valuable individuals. Well, scientist jokingly said that if people could get this knowledge from tiny termites then just in about two years we would be able to reach the stars.

We are humanizing the emphasis while talking about termite society . And lots of people are curious in knowing if termites really treat their queen as a boss, and to know if they aren’t angry or jealous with her position? Actually no. No pessimism takes place,termites just carry on with their duties and accept the roles they were born with.

How to find or spot the termite queen?

If your decision is to get rid of the termite colony yourself and find and kill the queen, these are handy tips for you to follow.

  1. You need sturdy clothes. All Most all of your body should be properly covered because you will meet a great number of other termites most of which will most probably succeed in biting you.
  2. Worker termites will show you the way. When you are ready and well-equipped, look for the nest.
  3. If the termite nest is in the timber of a building, please do not go further. In this case only a specialist can help because if you try to find the termite queen in this structure, the building will be seriously damaged and she will hide and survive anyway.
  4. But if the insect nest is in the ground then digging can solve the problem. If it is in a tree or stump, cut down the center of the wood. You need to work really fast because the moment termites feel danger they will move their queen.

READ ALSO: More Differences Between Termites and Flying Ants?

So you need to figure out a lot sometimes nests are several feet underground. What does a queen termite looks like? Carefully look for a slow termite with white and giant abdomen. That’s the queen. Pick her up and end up with the colony of destroying creatures.

How to destroy the termite queen?

A termite colony without a queen won’t survive. If their queen dies leaving no insects that can lay eggs and control the population, all the eggs and colony members will die die. So, for you to successfully get rid of a termite colony, killing the queen is a proper way out.

How to kill the queen termite? As a Matter of fact it is very difficult to kill the queen, even with such new methods as using ants for termite control. Getting to the reproductive part of the colony is nearly impossible; majorly it is always guarded by soldier termites. And even if you successfully set a trap, the queen may never enter it.

One of the best ways to kill the queen is with poison. She doesn’t feed herself; workers bring her food and taste it before she is allowed to eat it. If the queen eats poisoned food she will die. But the truth is that a worker most probably will try this food first and die himself that’s the difficulty.

Fumigation coupled with the help of toxic fumes helps to kill all the termites, including the queen. But this method is only effective for drywood termites.

Invite you see interesting video from National Geografic about the queen termite


The termite queen is really a great monarch in her colony. And not only does she rule other termites and she also produces a lot of new members for the society. The queen is the real god for the termites, but for people she is the cause of extreme damage.

We hope that with these basic knowledge about termites and their queen will assist you in avoiding these insects in your house.

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  1. Pingback: 5 Types of Termites: Subterranean, Dampwood, Drywood, Formosan & Conehead Termite 2019 | Wiki | Termite Survey 2019

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