Termite Eggs: What they look like and how to kill them

Often times with pest infestations, the discovery of eggs can be the first sign that there could be a possible problem underway. In terms of termite eggs, the eggs are just as obscure as hoping to find termite activity on the outside of wood structures.

Additionally, termite eggs may look different depending on the type of termite in question, with different color shades and size variations. What the eggs look like and where to look for them are common questions due to the relative elusive nature of termites in general.

This guide will serve as a resource in determining how to know if eggs are indeed from termites as well as all of the different stages of the termite life cycle. A firm understanding of the reproductive cycle of termites will also help in the identification process.

What Does a Termite Egg Look Like?

When determining what termite eggs look like, the first variable to consider is size. Termite eggs look small and white-tinted and will typically be clumped together in large groups and the eggs themselves are typically about a millimeter in length.

The eggs are indeed quite small and are usually deposited deep within the colony, usually in the queen termite's chamber. Termite eggs are usually yellow, brown, or white and this distinction can vary depending on the type of termite.

The colors may also change when the eggs are nearing the hatching stage. The eggs are generally oval-shaped and are always clumped together with a resemblance to fish eggs.

As previously mentioned, you will likely never see termite eggs laying out in the open. Both the termite queen and her eggs are always deep inside the colony and protected.

Subterranean termite eggs are always deposited in the soil away from the working colony within a home and dry wood termite eggs are deeply embedded into the wood, which would mean the destruction of the wood to find the eggs.

termite eggs with nymph
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termite queen with pulsating abdomen

How Long Does it Take for Termite Eggs to Hatch?

The termite life cycle consists of many stages and the very beginning comes with the hatching of termite eggs. After the hatching process, the new nymphs will start to branch out into the colony and go through several molting stages to become either worker, soldiers, or kings.

Most nymphs will molt into worker termites, with others becoming soldiers or alates, thereby leaving the colony for a nuptial flight, which is part of the wider distribution process.

The gestation period for eggs is generally about a month. Temperature plays a large part in this process, with warmer ambient temperatures producing the fastest results. The queen can lay a large number of eggs in a mature nest and the wider reproductive cycle depends on large part to the queen's propensity to incubate.

Video of queen termite inside a termite nest:

How Do You Kill Termite Eggs?

In addition to frequently wondering what termite eggs look like, another question that frequently comes up is how to kill them. This is a complicated question since the process to find the eggs is very difficult.

A queen and her nest are almost never seen, therefore, the ability to kill her eggs is best left to overall pest control measures. Finding the termite queen is the key to finding her offspring, but this is no easy feat.

The queen will lay her eggs either in the ground or inside of the infested structure. This will almost always be virtually inaccessible. If you do happen to find termite eggs, they will usually be white in color and in close proximity to the termite queen.

The most common termiticides used in termite control will typically work on eggs termite queen's deposit. Overall termite control methods will also usually address this life stage as well.

Alternatively, bleach, vinegar, or other harsh common chemicals or solvents may also work to disintegrate the embryos as well.

What Are the Signs of Termites in Your Home?

A termite infestation can be one of the most feared types of pest in pest control. You will usually discover that you have termites by the appearance of wood that is rotting or hollowing out.

Additionally, the eggs termite lay can be found in outside wood that is nearly destroyed by active termites. This represents one of the only incidences where the discovery of eggs or casings could be discovered.

The appearance of frass around wood is another clear sign of termites.

In Summary

Finding termite eggs is rare, however, the embryos will typically be white, yellow, or brown and clumped together much like fish eggs. If you do happen to discover them, consult with a pest control professional immediately for full confirmation.


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