How To Identify Termites

January 23, 2014

How To Identify Termites

January 23, 2014

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Knowing a termite when you see one can help you identify potential termite infestations early and get treatment right away, potentially saving you thousands of dollars or more in repairs. There are three different castes of termites – including workers, soldiers and swarmers – and several different species of termites indigenous to Arizona. When trying to answer the question, “What do termites look like?”, therefore, the answer is not always as straightforward as it seems. Below are a few tips on how to identify termites to help you determine whether or not you have an infestation in your home.

Distinguishing Termites From Ants

Often, termites are mistaken for ants, so the first step in how to identify termites is to examine the antennae, waist and wings of the suspect insect. Ants have bent antennae, a narrow waist and two pairs of wings of unequal length. Termites, on the other hand, have straight antennae, a wide waist, and two sets of wings which are equal in length. If you believe you’ve spotted a termite in or around your home, call a professional termite control specialist immediately. If you have one termite, you have thousands.

Examining Color To Determine Species

Even if you’re sure you have termites, it can also be helpful to know which type of termite species your home is infested with. There are two termite species most often found in Arizona homes: Western Drywood termites and Desert Subterranean termites. Identifying termites by their species involves examining the color of the insect.

  • Workers/Soldiers: Western Drywood workers and soldiers have an orangish brown head and a dark brown body. Desert subterranean workers and soldiers are a pale yellow color. Neither workers and soldiers of either species have wings.
  • Swarmers: The Western Drywood swarmers typically have a reddish-brown body and black wings. Desert Subterranean swarmers feature a yellowish body with white wings.

Looking for Signs of Termite Infestation

Even if you don’t actually see a termite, there are some tell-tale signs of termite infestation you should be aware of. If you see mazes on the exterior or interior walls of your home, mud “shelter” tubes leading up to your home, or piles of wings discarded by termite swarmers, you likely have an infestation. For more information on how to identify termites, or to receive a FREE termite inspection from the experts at ACTION Termite Control, call (877) 556-4131 now.

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