What Do Termites Look Like?

Finding insects in your home is a very unpleasant experience. Since most people don’t know what a termite looks like when they start seeing little ant-like bugs they often worry that they could have a termite infestation.  I mean, really what does a termite look like?  Most people can’t tell if the insects they found are actually termites or just ants.

Luckily, it is easy to tell the difference between the two pests. It can be done simply by inspecting their body parts. In most cases, you won’t even need a microscope or a magnifying glass! So what do termites look like?  There are three differences to look for when inspecting the bug.

Body Parts

The first thing you’ll notice is that a termite’s abdomen is straight and wide; while an ant’s is very thin and sectioned. Termite’s have only two visible body parts: the head and the body. Everyone knows what ants look like and flying ants are no different. They have three very distinct body parts: the head, abdomen, and thorax.

Shape of Antennae

An ants antennae is very distinct.  They have an elbow in the middle.  Ussuallyl they point out away from the head then point down at the elbow.  A termite’s antennae is very different.  They don’t have a sharp bend. Instead, the antennae just go straight out with a slight curve to them. Also, a termite’s antennae are beaded, while the ant’s antennae have the two segments and sometimes have small club like nobs at the ends.

Keep in mind that the number of segments of an ant’s antennae and the size or absence of a club are both important to correctly identify the type of ant. If flying ants are found in large numbers, you may need to have something done about this pest.

Length of Wings

So you may wonder, what do flying termites look like?  Both king and queen ants and termites have wings. And are easily confused.   They each have four wings (aka: two pairs of wings).  At first glance they may seem to look the same, but a closer inspection will reveal the differences. The wings of a termite are all the same length. On the other hand, the length of the ant’s wings are all different. More specifically, the front wings are longer than the rear wings.

By keeping these three, easy to spot variances in mind, you will be able to successfully tell the difference between ants and termites in and around your home. If in fact the insect you have found is a termite, do not worry right away that you have an infestation. If there seems to be more than a couple termites inside, contact a pest control company to come inspect your home. If you have found winged ants, you most likely have nothing to worry about. Contact a pest control company if you find a multitude of winged ants inside your home and suspect that they have created a colony inside somewhere.

What do termites look like?