How to Identify Termites


HOW TO IDENTIFY TERMITES

Hollow wood in your home? Cracked or bubbling paint? Discarded wings? Learn how to identify the pests in your house.

Is it an ant or termite?

Swarming termites and ants look similar and are easily misidentified. The clearest way to distinguish them is to examine the wings (C). Termite swarmers have two sets of wings of equal length. The front pair of wings on a swarmer ant is longer than the back pair. There are other distinguishing characteristics: An ant’s waist (B) is narrower than a termite’s. And ants have a joint in their antenna (A), while termites do not. But here’s the biggest difference: Ants are usually just a nuisance. Termites damage your home.



The termite colony

WORKERS

Workers make up the overwhelming majority of the colony because they are responsible for feeding it, including the queen. These soft-bodied, clear to light-colored termites are about the size of grains of rice. They rarely leave the dark, damp tunnels that run from the colony through the soil and into the wood of buildings. Workers continuously forage for food, maintain the nest and tend to the queen and her brood. 

SOLDIERS

Soldiers are the defenders of the colony. They have long heads and powerful jaws, and are responsible for colony defense against natural termite enemies such as ants.



REPRODUCTIVE PAIRS (SWARMERS)

Male and female reproductive termites develop wings, leave the parent colony in a swarm, mate and start new colonies.



THE QUEEN

Hail to the queen! She is the largest and most important colony member because she can lay eggs at a rate of one every second ― as many as a million eggs in her lifetime. She is large, up to 4 inches long, and can live for a decade or longer under ideal conditions. If she dies, a new queen will arise to take her place and keep the colony going.



Termites leave few clues of their arrival — until you can see their damage. Don’t make the costly mistake of assuming you are termite-free. Have a professional inspection done before it’s too late.

TAKE ACTION NOW AND KEEP TERMITES AWAY FOR GOOD.



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