A Complete Guide to Identify Termites with Pictures
Not sure what do termites look like? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. This post is your complete guide to identify them with pictures.
If you think that you have a termite infestation, then it will be good for you to know the answer to the question “What do termites look like to the human eye?”.
Termites are extremely destructive.
If you think that you have a termite issues you should quickly try to identify the type of termite and then get started right away on treating the infestation. A termite problem can go from bad to worse quickly.
One of the first signs that you notice may be wood damage. You might also notice a swarm of termites that often happen on a hot day and around a rainstorm.
After a swarm, you may find lots of wings or even feces that are left behind. Any evidence that you find of termites needs to be treated as though it could be an infestation and needs to be addressed quickly.
So now that you know some signs to look for you need to better understand what termites look like.
What Do Termites Look Like
There are several types of termites and identifying the type that you have can help you to better know how to treat the infestation at hand.
You will likely still want to get a professional opinion on the termites even if you believe you know what type they are. A professional can help you with tracking down where they may be living as well as help you with treating the problem and preventing it going forward.
You don’t want to end up with a house that is damaged and end up left with a costly repair if the problem can be addressed early on you can likely save yourself a little bit of money.
Read More: What Kills Termites Naturally and Fast
What Do Baby Termites Look Like
Baby termites almost look like little ants. They have bodies that are white in color as well as two antennas that stick out of the head.
There are some differences between ants and termites, however. One thing is that baby termites began in a larvae stage. This means termites that are babies will often stay close to the nest where eggs are located.
One way to tell the difference is to look at the antennas to see if they are curved or pointed. If the antennas point straight out then they are indeed baby termites.
Another method for identifying babies is to look at their waists. Baby termites waists are thick and they will also have wings that are the same in size.
By looking at all the factors you will hopefully be able to tell for sure if you are looking at a baby termite or an ant. For the most part, these babies look like adults just smaller.
What Do Flying Termites Look Like
Winged termites are also known as swarmers. The main function of these termites is to generate colonies that are new and to reproduce.
Swarmers have two pairs of wings. If you find these flying termites indoors then it is very likely that the building you are in is infested.
These flying termites are attacked by light and this means you can often find them in your window sills or near outside lighting. These are going to turn into the kings and the queens of the new colonies they construct.
When conditions are right the winged termites will leave the nest. The females and the males will fly together.
Once these termites have landed they will shed the wings, then mate, and begin starting the new colonies.
So now that you have an answer to “What do swarming termites look like?”, it is time to learn about what subterranean termites look like.
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What Do Subterranean Termites Look Like
Subterranean termites are broken down into three different types. There is the worker, the reproductive, and the soldier.
There are more workers in the colony than anything. These are immature, white, and they have no wings. When a piece of infected wood has been breached these are the first termites that are seen.
The reproductive termites are the swarmers that were talked about above. These termites have eyes as well as wings until they land and shed the wings.
These termites are blind but they can perceive changes in lighting. Most of the labor that is needed for the colony is done by these worker termites.
Then there is the soldier termite. These termites are put in place to defend the colony. They are able to be identified by their yellow-brown head that is elongated as well as black mandibles.
The soldiers are blind as well like the workers. They are also wingless and have bodies that are soft.
Since these termites are not able to feed themselves the worker termites provide them with food that is regurgitated.
What Do Drywood Termites Look Like?
Drywood termites have a waist that is thick. They also have straight antennae like other termites.
Drywood termites have legs that are shorter. When the wings are on the reproducers both pairs of wings will be the exact same length.
Depending on whether the drywood termite is a worker, soldier, or reproducers they will vary in color. The color of these termites can range from black to cream depending on the role that the termite has within its colony.
These termites are most often found in coastal areas in the south.
What Do Termites Look Like Without Wings
Termites without wings look like the solider and worker termites in the colonies. The look will vary depending on the type of termite as discussed above.
They will have straight antennas and the waist will be thick unlike that of an ant.
What Do Termites Look Like When They Swarm
Only some termites are capable of flying and they only fly for a very small window of time before they shed their wings.
When termites swarm the start of the season for termites has begun. This happens once each year and the time for this differs based on the species as well as the country in which the termites are located.
The reason that termites swarm is to start different colonies as well as to breed. The swarm is what marks the life cycle beginning for a termite.
Then the swarm begins the termites with wings will congregate and mate with the other termites in the air. After the mating is complete the termites will and they lose their wings, they then begin to create a colony.
Termites will often start swarming in the beginning of spring and most often after it has rained. Environmental cues let them know when they should start swarming and it is in sync with other colonies.
What Does Termite Damage Look Like
Termite damage can be one of the first things that you notice when it comes to a termite problem if you have not yet seen the swarm. Termites are active even when there is not a swarm present.
This means that they can destroy your house for a long time before you even realize that you have a problem. What does this damage look like on wood?
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What Do Termites Look Like On Wood
Subterranean termites eat on wood, and this means that you are able to find evidence of this. Carpenter ants leave marks in wood that is clean and neat but this is not the case when it comes to termites.
The wood that is damaged will have a mixture that is brownish-yellow in color and is a result of soil and wood that has been digested. When this substance dries it looks somewhat like dried oatmeal.
You might see mud tubes that lead from the damaged wood to soil where termites are likely living, or you may see tubes that are packed into seams and crack in your paneling.
What Do Termites Look Like In Wood
Often the main damage from the termites is seen inside the wood and not on the surface. On the surface, you may notice that the wood has a look that is almost blistered in appearance.
However, the inside of the wood will look layered or like a honeycomb. This will be from where termites have eaten the layers that are softer and leaving the layers which are harder in between.
The mud that was mentioned above will be seen here in between the layering. There is not going to be sawdust present since termites will eat and then digest what they consume.
The damage that you find may be old or it may be from current infestation. This is something that you need to find out as soon as possible.
As you can see not all termites are the same in appearance. Try to determine the type of termite if you can but either way you need to get a professional to help if you notice that you have a termite problem of any kind.
Now that you have the answer to what do termites look like to the human eye you will be able to move forward with getting the necessary treatment to remove termites if that is what you are found to have infested your home.
You should also take all appropriate measures to prevent future infestations of termites once the current situation has been handled.
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