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Heterotermes Ferox Termite – Identification & Overview

Buyer Protection

$100,000 termite Damage Warranty

australia owned and operated

Australian owned and operated

Free on-site visist & quote

Free on-site visist & quote

Over 14,000+ homes protected

Over 14,000+ homes protected

5/5 stars is most frequent rating

5/5 stars is most frequent rating

Termidor Accredited installs

Termidor Accredited installs

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Structure, Appearance and Characteristics


  • 3 – 7 mm in length.
  • Has sabre-like, black, curved mandibles, with no obvious teeth.
  • Labrum is not grooved
  • Head is long, brown, rectangular and parallel sided.
  • Fontanelle is small and indistinct, behind the anterior part of the head.
  • Tarsi – 4 Segments.
  • Abdominal cerci – 2 segments at the apex of the abdomen.
  • Pronotum flat, no anterior lobes.
  • Body cigar-shaped, white and not sclerotised.
  • Antennae beard-like, as long as the head.

Life Cycle

Termites are social insects, living in colonies. A caste system defines the roles of each individual in the colony. Queens and Kings initiate new colonies, caring and feeding the young until there are sufficient members of other castes to run the colony.

There is worker, reproductive and soldier castes for specialised jobs. The worker caste handles nest building and food gathering and feeding the reproductives and soldiers, nymphs tend to contribute to these tasks as well. Soldiers have one job, the defence of the colony.

The termite life cycle is characterised by a series of metamorphosis stages where they go from egg, to nymph and finally onto adult.  After hatching from the egg, a nymph will go through a series of between four and seven moults before reaching full maturity and becoming a worker, a solider or a winged reproductive.

Termites progress through the nymph stage over a period of two to three months which depends on the conditions within the colony largely dictated by food supply and climate.

There are four different castes of adult:

Queen & King

Within the nest, the queen and the king are the central caste of a termite nest.  Upon the formation of a new colony, the queen and king do the work of worker and soliders in feeding and caring for the young until there are sufficient numbers of these castes to take over those duties.


As the name implies, the workers are the termites in a colony that do the bulk of the work.  These blind, sterile and wingless termites are responsible for everything in the nest aside from breeding and defending the colony.  The workers are the termites that you will find on your property doing the damage to your wooden structures.  This cast will only venture outside their underground tunnels when searching for new sources of food or if the humidity in the tunnels is too high.


The soldier caste’s job is to simply defend the colony from natural predators such as ants.  The soldier termites are made up of both males and females, but their sex organs and gender characteristics have not developed.  Staying primarily within the nest itself or in the nearby tunnels, the soldiers use their fontanelle to discharge a natural secretion with acts a chemical repellent to enemies.


The reproductive class, which are slighty larger than soldiers and workers, are potential queens and kings and can also have wings which allows them to leave the next and create a new colony.  Colonisation usually happens in summer and the signal for the reproductives to leave is based on outside temperates and the overall health and condition inside the existing next.


This subterranean termite nests in timber on the ground, rotting wood, decking, poles, posts and fences, especially in decaying material. They commonly occur in small populations. They do not build mounds, but nests are often found next to the mounds of other species, leading to confusion, often with Coptoermes species. The main portion of their nest is underground, and they make mud tubes to access structures.

Subterranean termites build their colonies in soil and are attracted to moist places. Standing water in or around your home creates an ideal environment for subterranean termites. Leaky pipes and poor drainage are high risk environments.

Workers and soldiers are sluggish and less aggressive in defending their colonies than other species. Found in south-east Queensland, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and southern areas of South Australia and Western Australia.


The harvesters of food within the colony are the workers.  They consume wood and wood products to extract the cellulose.  The workers return to the next and excrete the digested cellulose for other castes to consume.

Destructive Nature

This subterranean termite is considered a minor structural pest. Damage can occur to your home usually detected by the homeowner quickly as they eat the softer timber usually door frames of skirting boards first and typically superficial.


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Pest Ex use the very best in thermal imaging equipment to guarantee the right results every time.  We’ve spared no expense to ensure you receive the best in termite protection. We have a team of experienced technicians who will handle your inspections and provide you with the best recommendations for eradicating infestations and avoiding pests from invading your property.

In addition to our state of the art equipment:

  • Our work is 100% Gauranteed
  • We offer unbeatable same day on site service and communication
  • We have serviced over 7,000 satisfied customers
  • We work with home and business owners, and have experience with a wide range of different types of properties
  • All termite treatments we provide are all child and pet friendly
  • Our pest controllers are qualified timber pest inspectors (Cert 3 – Pest management technical)

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Kent Bailey
11 months ago
Just had my home barrier treatment for termites by Pest Ex. In every way a brilliant job and fantastic friendly service unlike...read more anything else I have struck on the Gold Coast. This is a very professional company and every person involved was excellent in every way. Strongly recommend them to all who read this review because you won't do better.
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Christie McCabe
a year ago
On time. Efficient. Friendly. Informative. Well priced. Our experience with Pest-Ex was easy from the moment Reception answered our call. Our routine...read more pest inspection could be done the next day (a Saturday which is most convenient for full time workers). Karl arrived at 7am with a smile to complete the service and carried out the work efficiently informing us of the process where required. Thanks team.
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Chris Burt
2 years ago
Very professional and able to identify our pest problem on the spot. Was on time and great communication with admin girls via...read more phone. Very conscious of keeping our pet safe after the treatment which was a classy touch. Highly recommend!
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6 months ago
Great people and always helpful and providing a good service.
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Lorrie Cruickshanks
a year ago
Thank you to Garyn who first identified the issues, he was extremely thorough and prompt and then to John and Janine and...read more the team who treated and area and placed the baits. The process was fully explained and they were extremely courteous and very professional. Thank you to all the team. The office also kept us up to date with when their representatives would be visiting and this is very much appreciated. Great work.
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Donna Hamerton
a year ago
After reading reviews, I'm glad that I chose Pest-Ex. Maria in the office was more than understanding to accommodate me and times....read more I was able to get a booking the same day I made the enquiry. Garyn my technician was even able to come earlier. When he arrived he was happy to explain everything that was going to happen and how to work around my pets and children. Need pest control done - hire these guys.
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Phoebe Worth
2 years ago
Impressed with the service. The technician Steve was on time, friendly and thorough - you could tell he was not rushing the...read more job. Will be using Pest-Ex again. Thanks guys!
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Mickey Ketch
a year ago
This company actually investigates the problem instead of just spraying your place and leaving. Very HIGH knowledge and experience in what they...read more do. They took the time to investigate the cause, the source of the problem and elimnated it completely which included going through every cupboard, cracks hiding spots the lot. We had a cochroach problem in our apartment for 3 months and we had 4 different companies come out and NONE of them investigated they only sprayed. After we called PestEx, Mr. Phillips was very knowledgeable and experienced eliminating our problem entirely. We also use PestEx in our shop and both Mr Phillips and Marty are EXCELLENT in resolving and maintaining pest problems. HIGHLY RECOMMEND PEST EX. BEST I'VE SEEN IN QUEENSLAND.