What do Termites Look Like and How to Identify Them
Identifying termites is the first step to recognizing if you have an infestation on your hands. Being able to distinguish termite populations on your property early will save you from expensive damage. Termites can be hard to point out since they’re quite small and similar in appearance to ants. They’re also quite secretive, making it hard for the untrained eye to detect them. We’ve got a few tips for you, that will help you identify termites early on. Check out our guide below!
So What do Termites Look Like?
In some cases, termites can look like flying ants. There is a huge difference between the behavior of these two insects that will help you identify each. Flying termites are often confused with flying ants because of similarities between their winged mating cycles. However, flying ants do not shed their wings. If you’ve noticed wings around your property, you most certainly have a termite infestation on your hands. Also, termites have a straight waist, while ants have a pinched waist. Termites have a vertical antenna and ants have bent antennas.
Identifying By Species
Three termite species are widespread in the United States. Formosan termites are among the most serious termites and found in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and along the Gulf Coast. Drywood termites are found in the US, near the coast, but don’t need a lot of moisture to survive. These termites are also found on the gulf coast and the west coast. Dampwood termites live inside damp and rotting wood. They are typically found near open water and can enter your home through the wood that meets the moist soil.
Identifying by Damage
Subterranean termites feed on the ground up. They typically enter a building through the substructure, putting homes with crawl spaces at risk. Check these areas for evidence of damage wood and termite mud tubes. Wood damaged by subterranean termites develop hollow tunnels that run along the grain of the wood. Drywood termites enter structures near the roof line or other exposed wood. Look through your attic for evidence of damaged wood. Tiny holes are a great indicator, and in some cases, frass build up can be found nearby.