Everything You Need to Know About Termites

Bricker Pest Staff Photo
Termites at base of foundation

Termites are pesky insects that cause worry for many homeowners.  What if that bug you just saw on your home’s foundation wasn’t a termite at all?  What if it was a winged ant?  Can you tell the difference?  Read on for more information on termites and how to tell the difference between them and other common household pests.


What are termites?

Termites are small, winged insects that can cause considerable damage to homes and other structures. They have a segmented body with an elongated head, straight antennae and two pairs of wings that are all the same size. Termites feed on wood, paper products and other materials containing cellulose.  They live in colonies with different castes such as workers, soldiers and reproductives which work together to build elaborate underground tunnel systems for nesting and protection from predators.


What is the termite life cycle?

The termite life cycle begins with a queen laying eggs that hatch into larvae. These larvae then molt several times before becoming nymphs, which eventually develop into workers, soldiers or reproductive adults. The workers search for food, build tunnels and feed the colony while the soldiers defend it from predators such as ants. Reproductive adults fly away from their colonies to find mates and establish new colonies elsewhere. 


How to Tell the Difference Between Termites and Winged Ants

Termites and winged ants may look similar at first glance, but there are several distinguishing characteristics to note.  First, examine their size; termites are typically smaller than winged ants.  Next, take a close look at the wings; termites have two pairs of wings that are all the same size, whereas winged ants have two differently sized pairs of wings.  Fun fact: termite wings break off easily when touched or disturbed, but ant wings do not.  Finally, note any differences in their antennae; ants will have bent antennae while those of a termite are straight. Termite colonies have different castes such as workers, soldiers and reproductive adults, whereas ant colonies consist solely of winged females and males. Additionally, termites feed on wood, paper products and other materials containing cellulose while ants are primarily scavengers that feed on other insects and sweets. 


So was that bug you saw a termite or an ant?  Either way you will not want any of them around your home.  Call the pest control specialists at Bricker Pest Control at 979-244-5811 to take care of the problem today!

875 Nichols Ave,
Bay City, TX 77414
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Office | 979-244-5811