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What Does a Termite Look Like?

There are different termite species and castes that cause variation in appearance. However, termites generally share a number of similar attributes that set them apart from other pests or insects:

  • Termites range from ¼ – ½” in length
  • Termites have a variety of colors from off-white to dark brown
  • All termites have bodies divided into three segments: head, thorax, and abdomen
  • Termites possess soft, straight bodies and straight antennae
  • Swarmer termites have wings that are the same length
What does a termite look like in Knoxville TN? - Russell's Pest Control

Does Appearance Vary By Termite Species?

Yes, a termite’s unique species or cast determines what their characteristics might be. Dampwood termites are much larger than other kinds of termites and can have a reddish tint on their bodies. Drywood termites, on the other hand, can be a yellow-brown color, and wings that range from transparent to somewhat gray. Subterranean termites like the ones here in Knoxville are typically an off-white to dark brown/black color. A professional termite exterminator is the best resource to identify a specific termite species.

Characteristics of Termite Castes

Termites are divided by castes. But what exactly is a termite caste? This is a group of termites that performs a specific role within the colony. Termite colonies typically have four castes, and the termites within the groups can all look a little different. The castes include:

  1. Workers. These make up the majority of a colony and have an off-white to creamy colored appearance.
  2. Alates/Swarmers. While these vary in color between species, they all have wings that allow them to fly and are eventually shed.
  3. Soldiers. Often confused for ants, soldier termites have large, dark heads with powerful mandibles.

How to Identify Termites By Their Appearance

It is relatively rare to see actual termites. This is because they are often within the very structure of your home! Occasionally, residents in Knoxville will see swarmer termites. However, a professional pest control expert such as Russell’s is the best solution to identify which type of termite you may have in or outside your home.

What Does a Termite Look Like? in Knoxville TN

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