NPR logo

Touring the World's Largest Mobile Termite

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1787527/1791759" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Touring the World's Largest Mobile Termite

Touring the World's Largest Mobile Termite

Coming to Your Town: A 60-Foot Inflatable Termite Queen

Touring the World's Largest Mobile Termite

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1787527/1791759" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Web Extra: Hear the Sound of Termites Eating, Amplified 10,000 Times Normal Volume

Only Available in Archive Formats.

Timmy the Termite welcomes visitors to Termidor Termite Control's 60-foot-long, anatomically correct model of a termite queen. courtesy Termidor Termite Control hide caption

toggle caption courtesy Termidor Termite Control

Termites have a bad rap, for good reason. Sure, the insects play a critical role in the ecosystem of the Earth, "recycling" decaying trees — but they're also noxious pests for homeowners.

Joshua Levs reports on a giant, inflatable termite making the rounds, hoping to educate the public about the damage the insects can cause and how they might be controlled.

The anatomically accurate, inflatable termite queen is the creation of Termidor Termite Control, which makes insect-control systems for professional exterminators. Termidor wanted to spark more public awareness about the damage termites can do — and, naturally, advertise their business.

But the idea is a big hit with kids. The big bug has been trucked to more than 20 cities, set up primarily at children's museums. Inside, there are displays of live termites and damaged household items eaten away by the bugs — as well as games to keep the kids entertained, and teach some termite facts.

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.