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While some bugs just give you the heebie-jeebies, others can cause a serious problem in your home. Identifying the culprit can help you decide on the proper course of action.
Sometimes though, that’s easier said than done. Some insects, like ants and termites, look very similar to one another.
What do termites look like? Keep reading to learn the answer to this pressing question.
The Trouble with Termites
In many parts of the country, people expect to see a few ants in their home from time to time. A one-time siting rarely creates panic, as you can handle it on your own pretty quickly.
But, spotting even one termite should alarm you. These critters do not wander in alone and usually signify a much more serious problem tucked away within the structure of your home.
Like ants, termites find their way into homes through cracks in the foundation. But these insects feed on the very structure you live in.
An average termite colony may consume about a pound of food per month. Imagine hacking away a pound of your home’s support, and you will see why these little critters cause such a big problem.
What Do Termites Look Like Next to Ants?
The untrained eye can easily mistake a termite for an ant. Knowing what to look for will help you stray away from making this costly mistake so you can call for professional termite control right away.
Termites range from a quarter of an inch to half an inch in size. They are very similar in size to larger ant species, like carpenter ants.
Both insects possess a similar body structure. They both contain a head, thorax, abdomen, and 6 legs.
King and queen termites might grow as big as an inch. However, you most likely will not come across either of them unless you discover the entire nest.
Termites look different, depending on their species and the job they carry out. Like ants, some fly while others do not. This can make detection more difficult.
You will most likely spot a winged insect as they go out and about. They look similar to flying ants, dark brown, but you can succeed in termite identification by a couple of identifying features.
Ants and flying termites both fly with four wings. But, the ant’s wings are smaller in the back and larger in the front, while termite’s wings are all equal.
You will also notice a difference in the body-wing proportion. An ant’s wings grow to the size of its body, whereas a termite’s wings double the size of their body.
The antennae on winged termites also differ from ants’. The ant carries elbowed antennae on their heads. Termites antennae, though, sticks up straight.
Termites’ bodies appear wide and uniform across the length. Ants look segmented because their waste is so thin.
In termite pictures, you notice that they look a little more like cream-colored carpenter ants. They may leave the nest to seek food and water for the colony.
Sometimes these termites appear translucent. Though they wear the same antennae as their winged counterparts, they do not possess wings.
These little guys appear the most menacing out of the three. They possess pinchers that appear similar to the bull or driver ants’.
These are typically brown or red termites. Like the other termites, they also have antennae, but they do not possess wings.
Signs of a Termite Infestation
Did you successfully identify a little bug as a termite? Now, look around for other signs of a termite infestation.
Termites will make your walls sound alive. The termite clicking can make you go insane.
These social creatures communicate through a click language. The soldier termites also make a noise when alerting their colony to danger by banging their heads against tunnels or walls. You will also hear them noisily gnawing away at the wood.
During the Spring and Summer months, usually following a rainstorm, termites swarm. This means they are making more mouths to feed.
When termites swarm, it gets messy. They fly around in the air mating.
Once they do their business and fertilize the eggs, they land and shed their wings to crawl off and develop a new colony. Finding several insect wings around the house is a good sign that you have an infestation.
If you suspect an infestation, look for termite droppings, called frass. They clean their nests by pushing it out.
You may find small black droppings and dark powder. This will also give you a good sign of the colony’s location.
Most termites do not leave their nests. Though they need moisture to live, so they build the nests to be humid. This moisture buildup in the wall will affect the paint from behind. You will notice bubbling or peeling on the wall.
Termites may also eat the wall directly behind the paint. This will also cause bubbles in the paint.
It looks similar to marks created by water damage. If you do not have any leaks in your home, then termites may be the culprit.
These insects survive on the cellulose that wood contains. So, they will literally eat it from the inside out. If you tap on a section of your wall and it sounds hollow or papery, then your home has probably suffered significant termite damage already.
You typically will not see this inside your home, as the damage is happening inside the walls. But, if you notice wood close to your home that appears to have small tunnels, you should check your home for an infestation.
Call for Help Today
What do termites look like?
Well, they look like trouble. And if you ask this question, chances are, you need help to fix it.
We can help you with your pest control needs. Contact us today so we can make your home yours again.