What Does a Termite Look Like?
Termites are often mistaken for flying ants because of their size and bodies. There are several different species of termites that vary in appearance, but they all share some similar features.
These are the main characteristics of termites:
- Termites vary from ¼ – ½” in length
- Termite castes are different colors, from dark brown to off-white
- Like all insects, they have bodies segmented into three parts: head, thorax, and abdomen
- Adult termites have 6 legs and antennae
- Swarmer termites, called reproductives or alates, have wings.
Termite Appearance by Species
Termites can appear very different than each other based on their species, caste, and stage of life. Because they are rarely ever out in the open, it can be hard to identify termites. Here’s how different termites species look:
- Dampwood termites are the largest species of termite and have a reddish tint.
- Drywood termites range in color from yellow to brown and have grayish, transparent wings.
- Subterranean termites’ color ranges in murkiness from off-white to gray and black.
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Characteristics of the Termite Castes
The three main termite castes differentiate colony members by the role that they play. Each type of caste has a distinct appearance:
- Workers. These are the most common caste of termites and are the lightest-colored of the castes.
- Soldiers. Often mistaken for ants, soldiers have large, dark heads and bigger mandibles.
- Alates/Swarmers. Reproductives vary in color by species, but all have wings that they eventually shed.
How to Spot Termites Around Your Home
Termites can be very sneaky, which is one of the reasons why termite infestations are so feared. It is rare to actually see termites when they are in your home because they spend almost all of their time within its structure. This is why professionals will always be better at identifying termites. Your local termite exterminators at Florida Pest Control can determine the type of termites that are living on your property.