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What Color Are Termites?

August 02, 2022

Termites are often referred to as “the hidden pest” – and for good reason. Termites travel to your home through mud tunnels, cracks in the foundation, or via unsealed areas around doors and windows. Once there, they burrow deep into the wood and begin feeding on the structure of your home. It is not uncommon, therefore, for homeowners with an infestation to have never seen a termite or even know what one looks like. That is why most homeowners are unsure about how to recognize the most basic identifying features of termites, and find themselves asking questions like “What color are termites?” Below is a brief discussion about the color of termites and the termite types most often found in Arizona homes.

Arizona Termite Types

The two most common types of termites in Arizona are the Desert Subterranean and the Western Drywood termite. As the name suggests, Desert Subterranean termites live in colonies underground and build mud shelter tubes to travel to your home. Once there, they feed on your home’s timber and carry sustenance back to other members of the colony. Colonies of Desert Subterranean termites can grow as large as half a million individual insects. Western Drywood termites, on the other hand, enter the home through cracks in the foundation or around windows, doors or utility pipes, and build colonies inside the timber of your home. These colonies are typically much smaller, growing to only about 2,000 individual insects. It is common, however, for a single home to have several Western Drywood colonies.

So, just what color are termites? The color of a termite will depend on its species and on its function within the colony. For Desert Subterranean termites, swarmers are a yellowish brown color with translucent wings (before they are shed) and soldiers are a pale yellow color with no wings. Western Drywood swarmers have a head that is orange-brown and an abdomen that is dark brown in color, and their front wings have three dark veins visible in each. Soldiers of this species are similar in color, but have no wings and feature white eye spots on their heads. If you are still wondering what color are termites, or want to receive a free inspection from the professionals at ACTION Termite & Pest Control, call (602) 899-2222 today.