What Does a Termite Look Like?
Termites are small insects often confused for flying ants. There are different types of termite species, meaning they vary in appearance as well. That said, termites share a number of similar characteristics.
The main characteristics of termites include:
- Termites range in size from ¼ – ½”
- Different termite castes are different colors, from off-white to dark brown
- All termites have segmented bodies: a head, thorax, and abdomen
- Adult termites have 6 legs and straight antennae
- Swarmer termites (reproductives/alates) possess wings
Because termites can differ in both species and caste, they can also differ in appearance. Because termites are rarely seen, it’s best to enlist the help of a professional pest control expert to identify termites. Here’s how the different species look:
- Dampwood termites are much larger than other kinds of termites and can have a reddish tint on their bodies.
- Drywood termites can be a yellow-brown color, and wings that range from transparent to somewhat gray.
- Subterranean termites are typically an off-white to dark brown/black color.
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Characteristics of Termite Castes
There are three main termite castes, which determine a termite’s role within the colony. These castes can all make for quite different-looking termites:
- 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.
- Alates/Swarmers. Reproductive termites vary in color, but they all have wings that are eventually shed.
How to Spot Termites Near Your Home
Termites are elusive pests, which is why they’re considered so dangerous. It is rare to see termites in your home. This is because they are often within the very structure of your home! For this reason, identifying termites is always best left to a professional. Your local termite exterminators at Arrow Exterminating can inspect your property to identify the type of termites you have.