What does a termite look like?

Quick Summary

  • They come in shades of brown, white and black, based on the type of termite and their age.
  • Termites are often confused with flying ants since they have antennae and wings.
  • To distinguish the two species to distinguish them, take note that termites have two sets of equally-length wings on their bodies and 3 body segment (which aren’t like ants’) as well as straight antennae. Ants have two sets of wings with different lengths as well as 3 distinct segments of their bodies, and bent antennae.


They can be very different in appearance based on the species they belong to and their caste or function within the colony.

Termite colonies consist of various castes. These include:

  • Workers: Take care of eggs, keep the colony in good health and search for food sources
  • Soldiers Protect the colonies
  • Reproductives (swarmers or alates): Leave the colony to mate and create new colonies

How can I tell whether there are termites in my home?

Check for the following signs:

  • Wood that is soft or hollow
  • Mud tubes with white tiny insects in them or flying termites in swarms
  • Building damage

These symptoms of termites will vary depending on the type of termite you’re dealing.

What are the different kinds of termites?

Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites are able to display a range of colors, based on the type of caste they’re located in. They can vary from light cream to dark brown , black or.

The name of the species suggests that termites live under the soil in the soil. They’re also the most prevalent species of termites found in houses in the U.S. However, the eastern subterranean termites aren’t concerned what wood they eat originates and their hunt often leads them into our businesses and homes. They infest the wood by creating tunnels of mud (or pathways) from their soil nests to homes, that they feed on wood structure. This, over time can cause a number of damages. The presence of mud tubes is an indication of termites in your home.

Workers: These soft-bodied termites are light and creamy-colored.

Soldiers They have the same colors to workers, however they have big heads, which are either orange or amber-colored.

Reproductives The termites that swarm are dark and have black or brown bodies. The queen of termites is the head of a dark brown, and the thorax, which has a whitish abdomen that is extremely large. The termite queen is usually located in the nest underground and rarely observed.

Drywood Termites

Drywood termites are usually light brown, however they can range in hue from light yellowish Tan or dark brown.

The termites are a part of wood and receive the water they require to survive directly from the wood or from the humidity of the air. Drywood termites are commonly found in coastal and humid regions.

Drywood termites’ colonies are significantly smaller than subterranean termites. A mature colony might have just several hundred or thousand members. Males and females who are winged are able to mate and form new colonies inside a crack or another opening in wood.

Alongside the presence of swarmers and piles of Fecal material, also called “frass” are another sign of an infestation of drywood termites. When piled up frass, it can appear like sawdust or sand. It often is found in close proximity to windowsills and at the entrance to doors. Drywood termites are not able to make a nest in the soil and mud tubes aren’t an indication that they are present.

  • Workers: Like subterranean termites Drywood worker termites vary from creamy to white in hue.
  • Soldiers They have dark heads, orange-brown eyes and transparent bodies.
  • Reproductives Drywood Swarms have heads that are amber, dark brown abdomens, with dark gray wings that smoke.

Formosan Termites

Formosan termites are extremely destructive termites and have a color range according to their casting.

Formosan subterranean termites are in a variety of ways more hazardous than other subterranean termites. They’re usually perceived to be more aggressive in the sense that they feast upon wood structure. This is largely because of the potential magnitude that their colonies could be. The colony’s queen could live for up to 15 yearsold, making 2,000 eggs a day. A mature colony may contain many millions of people. The presence of termites is a sign of more taking up wood from structures as well as increasing the number of members that hunt. Similar to other species of subterranean termites visible tubers of mud are an excellent indicator of the presence of termites in your home.

  • workers: Like other worker termites, Formosan workers are white to off-white in the color.
  • Soldiers The heads are orange-brown and pale, white bodies.
  • Reproductives Formosan Swarmers appear pale yellowish-brown.

If you suspect you might have termites, it might be time for a termite inspection!