Termite up close white bckground

Termites are small insects often confused for flying ants. Termites come in different species, so their appearance will vary among them. There are still several similar characteristics that most share. 

These characteristics include:

  • Termites range in size from ¼ – ½”
  • Adult termites have 6 legs and straight antennae
  • All termites have segmented bodies: a head, thorax, and abdomen
  • Different termite castes are different colors, from off-white to dark brown
  • Swarmer termites (reproductives/alates) possess wings

Termite Appearance

Because termites can differ in both species and caste, they can also differ in appearance. Perhaps the most complicated part about accurately identifying termites is the fact that they are rarely seen. The discreet behavior within the inner structure of your home makes it difficult to notice them in the first place. Enlisting help from professional pest control experts is one of the best ways to locate and identify termites. 

Here’s how the different species look:

  1. Subterranean termites are typically an off-white to dark brown/black color. 
  2. Dampwood termites are much larger than other kinds of termites and can have a reddish tint on their bodies.
  3. Drywood termites can be a yellow-brown color, and wings that range from transparent to somewhat gray.

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:

  1. Workers. These make up the majority of a colony and have an off-white to creamy-colored appearance.
  2. Soldiers. Often confused for ants, soldier termites have large, dark heads with powerful mandibles.
  3. Alates/Swarmers. Reproductive termites vary in color, but they all have wings that are eventually shed.

How to Spot Termites Near Your Home

One of the greatest dangers of termites is their elusive behaviors. It is rare to find a termite in your home since they are often within the structure of your property! With this in mind, termites are often best addressed by a professional who knows where to look for termites or signs of their activity. Your local termite exterminators at Bug Out are available to inspect your property to identify the type of termites you have.

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