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What Does a Termite Look Like?

It can be difficult to actually see a termite as they are secretive and rarely seen, however, it’s important to know how to identify them. Termites can differ in appearance between species and castes, however, they share many of the same attributes. Primary characteristics of termites include:

  • Termites can be ¼ – ½ inch in length
  • Termites range in color from creamy off-white to darker brown
  • Termite bodies are divided into three segments: head, thorax, and abdomen
  • Termites are soft-bodied with thick waists and straight antennae
  • Certain termites, called swarmers, possess wings that are equal in length
What does a termite look like in El Paso TX? Pest Defense Solutions

What Do Termite Species Look Like?

The appearance of a termite depends on the individual species and caste. Some termites are much larger than others and can have a reddish tint to their bodies. However, drywood termites can be a yellowish-brown color, with wings that range from transparent to somewhat gray. Subterranean termites are typically a creamy-white to dark brown or black color. Learning the variations between different termite species is the key to identifying an infestation in your home.

Characteristics of Termite Castes

A termite colony is made up of three different castes or groups of termites, and each caste performs a specific role within the colony. These castes vary in size, color, and shape but usually have similar characteristics throughout all species. The main castes and their characteristics are as follows:  

  1. Workers comprise the majority of a colony and have an off-white to creamy colored appearance.
  2. Alates/Swarmers are winged male and female reproductives that swarm at certain times of the year. They all have wings that allow them to fly and vary in color between species. 
  3. Soldiers defend the colony and are often confused for ants. Soldier termites have large, dark heads with powerful mandibles.
  4. Queen termites are large, translucent, and spends their entire life from within the nest. They can live for several decades, growing to the size of a human finger. A termite colony without a queen cannot survive.

How to Identify Termites By Their Appearance

It is rare to spot termites in your home, and the only caste that is ever really seen are the swarmers. Termites can be living within the structure of your home for years without being noticed! The professional pest control experts at Pest Defense Solutions can perform a thorough inspection that identifies the species of termites in your home and determines the extent of damage that has been created. 

What does a termite look like? in El Paso TX

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