What are termites?

Termites are incredible, small insects that have mastered cooperation allowing them to achieve great things, such as building skyscrapers, hollowing huge trees, moving vast amounts of soil and of course, eating your house.

Termites are not ants. Most people are comfortable that they know what an ant is, but hardly anyone seems sure they know what makes a termite a termite. Again, because it is worth repeating, termites are not ants and they are certainly not white ants. That’s a really sloppy term, please don’t use it. Termites are organised cockroaches, and so are very different to ants.

Just like the huge variations you seen in the ants, the termites are similarly diverse with lots of different life styles. The different types of do very different things and from the perspective of controlling termites, it is important to find out what type of termite you have as this affects what you should do.

Color most termites are typically whitish, often almost see-through. You can usually see the food in their gut, but the winged ones are usually much darker (as above) many possible colours, usually black or dark red or brown
Shape six-legged grub, fairly short legs six-legged grub with narrow waist, legs longer.
Wings if present, four, roughly twice as long as body, all the same size and shape.  They are deciduous., being discarded after flight. if present, four, about the same length as body, rear wings obviously smaller than the front pair.  The wings are retained after flight.  Winged ants are typically about the same colour as the rest of the colony.
Head no eyes unless winged form (eyes are also very rarely in soldiers). usually obvious eyes
Antennae like a string of pearls definitely elbowed, with longer segments
Body soft harder, tougher

Coptotermes lacteus exposed in their mound

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