termites

Termite or Ant

image3

 Swarming termites and ants look similar and are easily misidentified. The clearest way to distinguish them is to examine the wings (C). Termite swarmers have two sets of wings of equal length. The front pair of wings on a swarmer ant is longer than the back pair. There are other distinguishing characteristics: An ant’s waist (B) is narrower than a termite’s. And ants have a joint in their antenna (A), while termites do not. But here’s the biggest difference: Ants are usually just a nuisance. Termites damage your home. .

Workers

image4

 Workers make up the overwhelming majority of the colony because they are responsible for feeding it, including the queen. These soft-bodied, clear to light-colored termites are about the size of grains of rice. They rarely leave the dark, damp tunnels that run from the colony through the soil and into the wood of buildings. Workers continuously forage for food, maintain the nest and tend to the queen and her brood.  

Soldiers

image5

 Soldiers are the defenders of the colony. They have long heads and powerful jaws, and are responsible for colony defense against natural termite enemies such as ants. 

Reproductive Pairs (Swarmers)

image6

 Male and female reproductive termites develop wings, leave the parent colony in a swarm, mate and start new colonies 

The Queen

image7

 She is the largest and most important colony member because she can lay eggs at a rate of one every second ― as many as a million eggs in her lifetime. She is large, up to 4 inches long, and can live for a decade or longer under ideal conditions. If she dies, a new queen will arise to take her place and keep the colony going.