Termites are secretive pests, preferring to spend their time out of sight and out of mind - so often you will see signs of termite damage long before you ever see an actual termite in your home. When you do see a termite, you may think it is a carpenter ant, as they look very similar in size and shape. Termites are between ¼ to a ½ an inch in length, with the king and queen termite being larger in size – up to an inch long. Termites have straight waists that do not taper inward or pinch in the center. If the termite has wings, the wings will be the same size.
Termite Colonies and Responsibilities
Termites are social pests, meaning that they live and work in colonies. Each termite has a specific purpose or job, and their appearance differs from the other termites in the colony. A colony will consist of the king and queen termite, along with reproductive termites, worker termites, and soldier termites.
Worker termites make up the majority of termites of every colony. They carry the burden of making sure the other termites are cared for, as well as creating the tunnels and galleries that make up the actual colony for the termites to live and work in. Worker termites cause the destruction of your home, as they navigate throughout your floor joists and walls using their antennae, and chomp away at the wood. They add saliva, mud, and feces to build the colony inside the walls or floors, and travel their tunnels in search of food to feed the rest of their colony.
Reproductive termites have wings. When the temperature is right and the time is right, male and female reproductive termites will mate, and then shed their wings. You may sometimes see the shed wings lying on the window sills or other areas of your home. Reproductive termites are darker colored than workers or soldier termites.
Soldier termites, sometimes called warriors, have a larger head and mandible then their counterparts. Because of their enlarged jaws, the soldiers are unable to feed themselves and must rely on the worker termites to bring them food and feed them. The soldier termites exist to defend the colony, and they will attack ants or other termites that try to enter the colony. Soldiers are pale yellowish-brown.
What to do if You Have Termites
If you discover a termite problem in your home, you need to seek out professional help from Witt Pest Management. You can take steps to eliminate moisture problems in your home, such as repairing leaking faucets and diverting water away from your foundation, and you can remove sources of termite food such as firewood and stumps from near your home – but you will still need an effective termite elimination solution. Witt Pest management uses the Sentricon® System with Always Active™ to effectively remove existing termite infestations and prevent future infestations.