Subterranean Termites - Order Isoptera

Appearance: Four "castes" of a termite colony: Worker: approximately one-forth of an inch long, light colored, wingless; Soldier: elongated head withmandibles; Supplementary Reproductives: wingless or very short, non-functional wings; light colored; Swarmers: winged, and darker than other members; caste most often seen by homeowners.

Habits: Live in colonies underground, from which they build tunnels in search of food; able to reach food above the level of the ground by building mud tubes. They need to stay in contact with the soil in order to survive, unlike drywood termites that only need low moisture.

Diet: Wood and other cellulose material.

Reproduction: Different rates of growth from egg stage to adult depend on individual species; one queen per colony, which can lay tens of thousands of eggs in her lifetime, but most eggs are laid by supplementary reproductives in an established colony.

Other Information: Cause more damage to homes in US than storms and fire combined; colonies can contain up to 1,000,000 members.

Other Types of Subterranean Termites


Soldier's Mandibles

Eastern Subterranean Worker


De-alated Reproductive

Group of Workers