Termites look like ant
- Think you have termites in your home?
- What do termites look like?
- Why is identification so difficult?
- What are the types of termites?
- Identifying termite species
- Termites with wings
- Control and prevention of termites after identification
- Identifying termites from their damage
- What Do Termites Look Like
- Top 10 Pictures of Termites: Identify Termites with Pictures
- So, What Do Termites Look Like?
- Top 5 Pictures of Termites
- What Termite Soldiers, Termite Swarmers, Termite Workers and Termite Queens Look Like?
- What Do Termites Look Like?
- Differences in Species
- Differences in Castes
- Identifying Termites by their Habitats
- Identifying Damage
- Professional Identification
- Making Sure They Are Actually Termites
Termites are very small and similar in size to ants, which often leads to confusion. There are also several different types of termites, which can make figuring out which control method to use challenging. In fact, knowing the key differences between ants and termites is a good starting point for identification. Knowing the types of termites you’re dealing with is the next key factor for professionals to determine.
Owing to their secretive nature, termites can be hard to detect, especially with an untrained eye. You are far more likely to spot the signs of termite damage before you spot termites themselves.
There are different types of termites, but there are some very destructive species that like warm, moist, areas. So, cities and areas like Miami, Atlanta, and Charleston can be affected by these species of termite.
As with any other pest, correct identification ensures the use of the most effective control methods and allows you to choose the most appropriate prevention steps to try and avoid problems in the future. You can discuss options such as chemical barriers or other methods to keep termites away.
Need help identifying termites? Call Ehrlich today at 1-800-837-5520 for advice and to schedule a FREE termite inspection of your home or business.
Think you have termites in your home?
Click here to set up an appointment to discuss our termite treatments.
What do termites look like?
Do termites really look like ants? Termite swarmers can look like flying ants, and they are often confused.
The difference between these two pests will greatly impact the type of service needed to control them in your property.
Often a suspected problem with termites, turns out to be a problem with carpenter ants or fire ants, because they look so similar.
Here’s how to establish the general differences in appearance and behavior between ants and termites:
Waist – Termites have a straight waist, while ants have a pinched waist.
Antennae – Termites have straight antennae while ants have bent antennae.
Wing Length – Termites wings are the same length while ants have wings of different length.
Look for discarded wings around window sills – Flying termites (also known as swarmers) are often confused with flying ants, because both their winged mating cycles occur during the springtime. However, flying ants do not shed their wings. If you have seen these flying insects in your property, you can be fairly certain you have identified termites if you’ve also found discarded wings.
Look for differences in body shape – The image below should help you identify important differences in body shape of termites and winged ants (termite is on the right, ant on the left):
Have you spotted termites in your home or workplace? As these insects are highly destructive, you should get professional advice and termite control from Ehrlich right away. Our termite control specialists know how to spot termite eggs, larvae and which types of termites might be causing the damage.
Why is identification so difficult?
Even armed with the above information, it may still be hard to make a correct identification using the naked eye. Bear in mind that termite swarmers are only about ¼ inch long – about the same size as a pencil eraser.
Identification is made even more difficult by the fact that termites often remain hidden away in properties for years without the owner’s knowledge. As already mentioned, the first indicator of a potential problem is usually visible evidence of termite damage.
Ehrlich’s termite species guide offers greater detail on what termites look like and how to recognize the common features between termite species.
What are the types of termites?
What kind of termites are you seeing in your home? Click here to find out.
Identifying termite species
All types of termites can cause damage to your home, but knowing a bit more about the different species of termites can help identify them more easily. Depending on where you are in the country can also determine the types of termites you may have to contend with.
The location of your property as well as its component structure will both have an impact on the termite species, which you may be at risk of.
Generally speaking, incidence of termite infestation is much higher in the southeastern states, such as Florida, and the west coast states, such as California, and gradually decreases the further north you travel in the country.
Here are some of the most common termite species found in the U.S. Subterranean termites are one of the most common species found throughout the U.S.
The top 3 most invasive species of this type, include the Eastern subterranean, Western subterranean and the Formosan subterranean termites.
Eastern subterranean termites are the most prevalent and can be found on the east coast in states like Georgia and as far west as Utah. Western subterranean termites are mostly found along the west coast and inland through to Nevada.
Formosan termites – are a particularly serious type of subterranean termite, but are not as common. Formosan subterranean termites are found primarily in Louisiana, Mississippi, along the Gulf coast.
Drywood termites – can also be found in the US, sometimes nearer to the coast although they don’t need moisture to survive. They are prevalent along the gulf coast as well as on the west coast in California.
Dampwood termites – live in damp and rotting wood and mulch, and can often be found near open water. They can enter your home through wood that meets damp soil.
Termites with wings
The primary function of termites with wings, or swarmers, is to reproduce and generate new colonies. They have two wing pairs, and the presence of these insects indoors signifies that a building is likely infested. Flying termites can commonly be found swarming around window sills or exterior lighting because light attracts them.
These insects will turn into the queens and kings of new colonies. Termites with wings depart from their nests and fly when the conditions are appropriate. The males and females will swarm together in the air. After they land, the swarmers will shed their wings, mate, and start new colonies.
Control and prevention of termites after identification
Once correct identification is made, the most effective solution plan can be offered to quickly bring the problem under control. Ehrlich offers conventional termite treatment which uses liquid termiticide treatment and other methods include the use of monitoring and baiting systems.
Identifying termites from their damage
At Ehrlich, we confirm the invading termite species through a visual identification rather than just looking at the evidence of the damage to your building and its location.
However, some of the points below could be of help to you, when checking your building for signs of activity:
Subterranean termites begin their feeding process (damage) from the ground up and typically enter a building through the sub-structure. Homes with crawl spaces are at great risk. It is here you should look for evidence of damaged wood and mud tubes. Wood damaged by this particular species develops “galleries” (hollow tunnels), which run along the grain of the wood.
Drywood termites typically enter structures near the roof line or other exposed wood to begin building a colony. Inspect your attic for evidence of damaged wood. Look for tiny holes in the wood with evidence of frass collecting nearby. Probing the wood can also expose galleries as well.
Having experienced a termite infestation, most people will be eager to ensure they do not have the same problem in the future. Ehrlich can give you simple steps you can take to “termite-proof” your home or business and the prevention plans can offer further help.
If you suspect you have termites, call us today at 1-800-837-5520 or contact us online to arrange a FREE termite inspection for your home or business.
What Do Termites Look Like
Top 10 Pictures of Termites: Identify Termites with Pictures
What do termites look like? Identifying termites is the first important step in combating them.
Did you know what termites look like yet?
But how to kill termites if you don’t even know what termites look like.
This post will help you answer that question in detailed.
So, What Do Termites Look Like?
Termites are soft-bodied insects, typically brown, gray, or white in color, and they live in colonies where each member has its own special role.
Termites look similar to ants. In fact, most people describe termites as white ants.
They have difficult when telling the difference between termites and ants, but this picture below can help you identify termite very easily:
- On their head, termites have a distinctive pair of straight antennae that look like small beads connected together (in comparison, ant’s antennae is bent into an elbow shape). Termites have no eyes, so they do everything by scent and feel!
- The thorax is subdivided into three segments and is the part of the body where movement is based. Termites have three pairs of legs – one attached to each segment on the thorax (Termite Swarmers have 4 equally sized wings that are double of its body).
- The abdomen of termites is where the digestive, respiratory, circulatory and reproductive systems are located.
Top 5 Pictures of Termites
It’s better if you take your time to learn on what termites look like by checking these termites pictures below.
What Termite Soldiers, Termite Swarmers, Termite Workers and Termite Queens Look Like?
Termite workers have small body and limb to develop. They have the largest number, about 70-80% in termite colonies.
What Do Termites Look Like?
There are over 40 species of termites in the United States alone. Although they have distinct characteristics, most look similar.
- Size & Length: they typically measure between 1/4 and 1/2 of an inch long.
- Body: The pests have soft bodies and straight antennae.
- Color: Colors range from white to light brown in color. Worker termites often appear lighter, while swarming termites are darker.
Differences in Species
There are variations in size and color between termite species. For example, western subterranean termite soldiers have yellowish heads, while western drywood termite soldiers have reddish brown heads. Dampwood and drywood termites tend to be larger than subterranean termites.
Differences in Castes
Termites have three different castes, each of which performs different roles within the colony. Each caste has unique physical features to help it fulfill its role in the colony.
Even within the same species, termites that belong to different castes can look very different.
Workers Worker termites tend to be lighter in color. Workers are the smallest of the castes. In general, workers and nymphs are soft-bodied and look like larvae.
Soldiers tend to have worker-like bodies, but with hard heads that are often dark in color and have large jaws. Soldier termites have soft bodies with hard, enlarged heads and large jaws (mandibles) that help them protect the colony. Fully mature, reproductive termites have wings and hard bodies that prepare them for leaving the nest to start new colonies.
Alates Or Flying Termites
Alates (swarmers) have wings and hard exoskeletons that may be very dark in color. Additionally, flying and swarming termites can be recognized by their prominent wings. Flying termites have two sets of wings of equal length, and these wings are almost twice the size of the termite’s body. Termite swarmers appear to have two body segments with a straight abdomen, and straight antennae.
Subterranean Worker and Soldier
Termite Look Alikes
Some homeowners may confuse flying ants and flying termites. Pest control experts are trained to distinguish between these two insects based on differences in their appearance.
Can You See Termites with the Human Eye?
While the pests are small, termites are visible with the human eye. Winged termites, or swarmers, are somewhat larger than workers and can be more easily spotted. This is helpful since homeowners are most likely to encounter swarmers, which take flight during mating season to look for new nesting sites.
Identifying Termites by their Habitats
Knowing where termites live helps homeowners identify infestations.
Dampwood termites, for example, are found in areas with moist climates; however, these termites can be found in areas of the home where water leaks occur. They typically set up colonies in damp basements or bathrooms.
Nevada Dampwood Soldier
On the other hand, drywood termites are found in dry environments of the coastal, southeastern and southwestern portions of the U.S. Drywood termites typically live in undamaged, dry wood of houses and apartments.
Drywood Termite Worker
Since the pests eat cellulose found in wood, termites destroy, walls, furniture, and other wooden materials in homes. The damage they do may appear in the form of sagging floors and ceilings or infested wood might look water damaged. Additionally, homeowners may find piles of sawdust, mud tubes or the shed wings of swarmers.
While you should regularly monitor for pest activity, you should contact a trained professional for termite identification, prevention and treatment. Pest control experts can distinguish between termites and other insects, and identify termites by species to make sure prevention and treatment techniques target that specific species- unique behavior.
Making Sure They Are Actually Termites
- Termites have a thick waist
- Termites have straight antennae
- Termites have shorter legs
- When wings are present, both pairs of wings will be the same length on a termite
- Ants have noticeable waists
- Ants have clubbed or bent antennae
- Ants have longer legs
- When wings are present, the front wings will be longer than the back wings on ants
Once you have determined you are indeed dealing with termites you will need to find out if you have subterranean termites or drywood termites because a subterranean termite treatment is quite different than a drywood termite treatment. If you have determined that you actually are in fact dealing with ant infestation, please visit our Ant Control Guide.
- Subterranean termites have the main portion of their nest underground
- Subterranean termites make mud tubes to access structures
- Subterranean termites usually have large colonies
- Subterranean termites do not kick out feces and debris
- Subterranean termites typically eat along the grain of the wood
- Subterranean termites are known to make “carton” nests in wall voids and in trees. A carton is a nest made from the termite fecal matter to maintain the correct moisture level when the termites are unable to return to the actual subterranean nest.
- Drywood Termites do not require soil contact
- Drywood Termites nest inside of the wood they are infesting
- Drywood Termites do not make mudtubes
- Drywood Termites fly into infest wood
- Drywood Termites make small “kickout” holes in wood to push feces and debris out of the nest
- Drywood Termites leave small piles of debris outside of the infested wood
- Drywood Termites usually eat across and along the grain of the wood
- Drywood Termites are usually found in coastal regions but they can be transported in infested wood
If you have determined that you actually are in fact dealing with a drywood termite infestation, please visit our Drywood Termite Control Guide.