What Does a Termite Look Like?
Termites are small insects that can easily be mistaken for ants. There are more than forty termite species in the United States, but here in Long Island we mainly have to beware of one: the subterranean termite.
The main characteristics of termites include:
- Sizes ranging from ¼ – ½” in length
- Different termite castes are different colors, from off-white (workers) to dark brown (swarmers)
- All termites have bodies with three segments: a head, thorax, and abdomen
- Adult termites have 6 legs and straight antennae
- Swarmer termites (reproductives) often have wings
It can sometimes be tough to tell the difference between carpenter ants and termites. For more information, check out our article on carpenter ants vs termites.
There are three main termite castes, which determine a termite’s role within the colony. All three termite castes look quite a bit different:
- Workers: These make up the majority of a colony and have an off-white to creamy colored appearance.
- Soldiers: Often confused for ants, soldier termites have large, dark heads with powerful mandibles.
- Swarmers: Also called reproductive termites, swarmers vary in color, and have wings that are eventually shed.
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How to Spot Termites Near Your Home
Termites are elusive, which is part of what makes them so destructive. You could have termites and not realize it. It’s rare to see termites in your home because often they’re hiding deep inside the structure. For this reason, identifying termites is best left to a professional like your local termite experts at Arrow Exterminating.