how big are termites

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how big are termites

Warm and continuous humidity can put homes to possible termite activity experience. Since leaky pipes, improper drainage, and poor airflow can create moisture problems, they may attract termites to your home to create their new colony. Dampwood termites and subterranean termites specifically reside in humid environments.

Termites have a light color, which is usually white or creamy and can sometimes look translucent. The termites’ antennae are straighter than ants that have bent antennae. Together, the waist area of the termite is a lot thicker than that of ants.

Are Termites Visible to the Human Eye?

How big are termites? Termites typically are small, with a measurement between 4 to 15 mm or 0.16 to 0.59 inches, which is a little short to one inch long. The largest of all termites are the queen, which measures up to over 10 centimeters in length. There are about 40 species of termite in the United States, they look similar, but they have distinct characteristics.

Often, most people compare termites to ants. Even though it is white in color, it is visible to the human eye. Their waist is thicker, and their straight antennae are of equal length to the wings. The winged termites or swarmers are larger than worker termites and can be easily noticed.

Some people in the United States may find it difficult to distinguish between termites and ants, but by learning their characteristics and different distinguishing features, termite identification will be quick and easy. Using your naked eye, you will be able to differentiate between light and dark. At the same time, by learning more about termites, you will be able to identify termite infestation in your home.

The difference in Species of Termite

There are variations in size and color among termite species, which are very different. The soldiers of subterranean termites usually have yellow heads, and the soldiers’ heads of western drywood termite are reddish-brown. When it comes to size, dampwood termites and drywood termites are big compared to the subterranean termites or Formosan termites.

Termite Signs to Look for in Your Home

In the United States, termites are considered a national problem faced by 49 states. According to the records, termites caused the country about $5 billion a year for property damage. Being a homeowner, protect your home by preventing it from being ideal for termites to build their colonies. It can help you save money and keep your family safe from these destructive pests.

If termites are infesting your house for years, it can cause you a thousand dollars in damage. Termite damage is usually not covered by homeowners’ insurance. Be vigilant in protecting your property from termite damage by searching for any manifestations of termite in your regular. Simultaneously, make sure to maintain a termite protection plan by asking for help from a reputable company that provides annual termite inspection.

Here are the top three indications of termite infestation.

1. Blisters in Wood Flooring

You may notice some blisters in some areas of your house, and these can mean termites feeding within or under. Subterranean termites that cause damage to the subfloor, making it appear like water damage.

2. Hollowed or Damaged wood

Wood damage is usually found below and behind floors, walls, and more. It can be a result of termites feeding on wood in search of cellulose. Over time, the grooves left by the termites create structural damage. You can hear an empty or hollow sound when you knock on the damaged wood.

3. Evidence of Swarms

Discarded termite wings are found near windows, doors, and other access points to your house. Swarms happen when flying termites fly out of their nest to mate and find a new place to start a new colony. Flying termites intentionally twist their wings off after they land since they will never need them again. The termite wings are of the same size, while the ants have one pair of larger wings.

4. Mud Tubes

Since subterranean termites nest underground and forage, you can usually find the pencil-sized tubes in the areas where the ground meets the structure or any possible termite food source like a tree or shed. Due to the specific survival needs of a subterranean termite, such as the right temperature and humidity, their tunnels help block cool and dry air effectively.

5. Drywood Termite Droppings

This species of termites nest inside of the wood. While they are making tunnels, they are eating the wooden structure while making space to keep them cleaned. They make holes to remove their stool that looks like mounds of pellets. These pellets look like sawdust or coffee grounds. If you found them inside your property, it means that dampwood or drywood termites live in your home.

Ways to Spot Termite Look-Alikes

It is always frustrating to discover bugs nesting in your home. Aside from living with you, these pests eat your floors, wooden furniture, and any wood-based items inside your house. Termite damage can be easily identified, but subterranean termite infestation can be challenging to exterminate when you only see bugs and not the damage. However, this can also happen and what you are seeing is not actually termites; instead are impersonators. Here are a few things that you should be mindful of to distinguish their differences.

Insects that are commonly mistaken as termites are flying ants. These are the carpenter ants, which are often seen to take flight around your house. Other impersonators are moisture ants, the black garden, and pavement. Most ant species have breeding adults that develop wings and would later come out to create new colonies.

Even though they cannot cause structural damage, having swarms of nasty looking insects around your house can be annoying. Contact a pest control professional to do a thorough inspection of your house if you need help with your termite problem.


Since termites are pests that eat cellulose found in woods, dampwood termites damage the walls, furniture, and other wooden materials in homes. Even though you can monitor the pest activity, you should contact a trained professional for termite identification, prevention, and extermination. Termite control experts can quickly identify the termites from ants or other insects and at the same time by their species. Learning about termites by species, their specific and unique behavior will help you easily determine the right treatment techniques to prevent and treat termite activities.

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