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Termite Alate (Swarmer) Pictures

As termite swarming season gets into full swing, we wanted to remind you of one of what the enemy looks like.  The following are termite swarmer images from different places around the country.   Termite Swarmers in San Diego, California (2011) Termite Swarmers in San Diego, California (2011) Termite Swarmers in Adairville, Kentucky (2012) Termite Swarmers in Orlando, Florida (2012) Termite Swarmers (May 2013) Termite Swarmers in New Orleans, Louisiana (May...

How Big Are Termites?

There’s a wide range of termite sizes. Termite size generally depends on the termite’s age and species. Each termite begins with an egg which is really tiny. You need a good magnifying glass to identify a termite egg. When the egg hatches into a larvae, it is still tiny. After a few weeks the larvae will become a tiny worker, able to get around on its six legs, but still hard to examine with the naked eye. All that can be said for almost any species of termite, but that doesn’t answer the question. The Larger Queen and King Termites The reproductive queens and kings are larger, perhaps well over 1” in length, especially if you find them with wings which extend behind the termite body. The kings and queens spend most of their life without wings, so we won’t count the wings in most of the measurements we give in the rest of this article. Subterranean Termite Size Most of the termites in the lower-48 states (no termites in Alaska yet) are subterranean worker termites which may be as short as 1/8”, but grow to be up to ¼, or maybe as much as 3/8” in length. The soldiers found along with these subterranean termites will be slightly longer, while the reproductive queens and kings will be over ¾”. Such measurements do not include the wings and they do not include the extension of the queen termite’s abdomen which becomes quite long when the queen becomes a full-scale egg factory. Such an abdomen may extend for over 2” long  and ½ “  wide or larger. Such a queen will be in a compartment within the nest and you won’t see her unless you carefully take the nest apart. Formosan Subterranean Termite Size Formosan subterranean termites are 10% to 20% larger than the domestic subterranean termites and they generally...

Soldier Termite Pictures

Soldier termites have a very distinct appearance from termite species to species.  Soldier termite pictures can be used to help identify what type of termites are causing you problems. The soldiers may be hard to find, but if you pester the termites or cause some trouble with their nest, rest assured, termite soldiers will show up quickly to defend the colony.  Using scents and vibrations they communicate they coordinate their activities to repel any invaders and protect the other termites. These pictures of termite soldiers show common soldier termites in North America; including subterranean termites, Formosan termites and dampwood termites. For more information about soldier termites, visit the soldier termite caste page.  You can also find other termite pictures on our site. Subterranean Termite Soldier Pictures Subterranean termites are the most widespread termite species in North America, so subterranean termite soldiers are going to be the easiest termite soldiers to find. As you can see in the subterranean soldier termite picture to the right, these termites have an elongated head and large pincers.  They can use their large head to block tunnels when the colony is in danger. Formosan Termite Soldier Pictures Formosan termites are an invasive termite species from Asia and are not native to the United States.  They are a subterranean termite, but they are much more agressive then native termite species.  They build bigger nests, cover more territory and have colonies that are 20% – 30% larger then native species. As you can see from the Formosan soldier termite picture on the right, Formosan termite soldiers have a teardrop-shaped head.  They also have a large fontanel, an opening in the head for release of a secretion that they use when fighting. Dampwood Termite Soldier Pictures Since Dampwood termites work above ground and are exposed to more dangers from predators.  Dampwood termite soldiers are bigger than other termite soldiers. As you...

Worker Termite Pictures

Worker termites are pretty standard looking throughout most termite castes.  When you compare most pictures of termite workers they will all apear very very similar for that reason. Termite workers are thin skinned and need to be in contact with damp soil.  This means that they stay out of the sun and open areas where their bodies won’t dry out.  They tend to look semi-translucent in color, which gives them a whitish, cream color appearance. The termite workers picture below is from a nest that was dug up and exposed.  Looking at pictures of termites give you a great tool for identifying termite problems, since termite workers are the most common type of termite and will be the ones eating away at your home. A close up picture of a termite worker.  Since termite workers are blind they find their way around by scent and by feel.  It is rare to see termites out in the open like this.  The tend to stay underground or in termite shelter tubes that they build to get across open...

Queen Termite Pictures

The following are pictures of queen termites.   Termite queen pictures tend to be rather shocking.  Termite queens are UGLY!  After starting a colony queens termites change into egg laying machines.  As they age, their bodies become more and more elongated and bloated.  As queens get older, their egg laying capacity also increases.   So a new termite colony will start small, but get progressively larger as each year passes.  The following termite pictures show queens of different ages and different termite species too. Picture of a Formosan Termite Queen Formosan queens are capable of laying up to 30,000 eggs a day.  Due to that quantity of eggs, their bodies bodies grow and expand considerably to reach that capacity. Picture of a Drywood Termite Queen The drywood termite queen is the bottom stripped termite.  The darker colored termite in the upper part of the picture is the drywood termite king. Picture of a Western Subterranean Termite Queen The termite queen pictured here is a very young queen that has just shed her wings.  When they are looking for a mate, the young queens will raise their abdomen into the air and give off a pheromone to attract a suitable make. Picture of a Dampwood Termite Queen The dampwood termite queen is on the right, the king is on the...

What Does a Termite Look Like?

When it comes to identifying a termite problem, the first obvious question is: What does a termite look like? What a termite looks like is often described as a ‘white ant’ due to the fact that termite workers and soldiers have a white colored bodies.  But in fact, termites are quite unique.  There are several characteristics you can use to tell if you are looking at a termite or not.  Termites have wide bodies, they have straight antennas and are light in color. To see the differences between termites and ants see our other termite identification article. Average Termite Size: Termites are generally 3-6 mm for workers and soldiers.  The reproductives are larger at 5-15 mm. Termite Color: Termites vary in color depending on the species.  Since subterranean termites stay out of the light, they tend to have white, translucent bodies.  Dampwood termites who live above ground are light copper color. General Shape: Termites are wide bodied insects.  Unlike ants that have narrow midsections, termites have wide bodies from head to tail. Termite Antenna: Termite antenna are straight and appear very bead like and curve out slightly. More Information For additionall information, see our section of termite pictures.  The different pictures can help you accuratlly identify these pests.  There are other signs of termite damage that you should be looking for.  Termites work inside the wood they are destroying, so you might never see a termite, but they can still destroy your house.  So be sure to be watching for the other signs of...