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What Do Termites Look Like To The Human Eye?

Termites on wood

As homeowners, we are always working to keep our house clean and pest free. Bugs can get in when the door opens, spiders crawl in through small spaces, and ants get in to the home. What do termites look like to the human eye? Swarmers have white wings that are transparent, small body, thorax, abdomen, and short antennae.

Let’s take a look at the other type of termites so you know what to look for in your home.

Other Types of Termites

Termites cause $5 billion dollars in damage each year and you can see them with the naked eye. Swarmers that are mentioned above are also flying winged termites and known to be reproductive. Being the reproductive termites, they can lay up to 25 eggs per minute! Additionally, they will look for the areas to nest that are suitable. Now that you have an idea of what swarmer termites look like, let’s talk about other types.

Termites with wings can be identified with the human eye.
  • Worker Termites – this type is soft and pale, ranging from creamy white to brown and black, If you see a group of them, they look like a line of ice grains all moving along in line.
  • Soldier Termites – light brown colored bodies, dark color heads, and black mouths that look like they have pincers.
  • Subterranean Termites– they are found in the soil and cause the most termite damage to homes.
  • Drywood Termites – are known as wood destroyers as they love to eat wood.

Still not sure what you may be seeing in your home? Take a look here to identify termites.

Difference Between Flying Ants and Flying Termites

Both of these pests have mating cycles in the spring so unfortunately, this confuses many as there are a lot of them at the same time. If you find discarded wings, these belong to swarmers as flying ants don’t shed their wings. The next step is to contact a pest control company to take a look at your home and for flying termites as well as others.

Why Do Termites Like Wood?

Termites eat the cellulose that is in wooden structures that makes up the foundation of the home. They also like the cellulose that is found in cotton clothes, as well as paper products, and plants.

Mud tunnels made by termites cause hollow wood in the home.

Signs You Have A Termite Infestation

Well, we already talked about the discarding of wings that you may have termites in your home. Here are some other indications:

  1. Wood that is Hollow – Hollow wood, when you knock or tap on it, is an indication. Termites will eat through the wood in the walls, leave empty spaces, and create tunnels.
  2. Frass– This is also known as termite droppings. Termites leave this behind after they eat through an area. These are an indication that there is an infestation so reaching out to your local pest control company right away is important.
  3. Mud Tubes – Termites don’t like the sun so they stay as covered as possible. Hence, why they create mud tubes to protect themselves. You can find these on exterior walls.
  4. Cracks – If you have cracks in siding, vents, windows, or foundation, you are inviting termites in and at a greater risk for infestation.
Standing water can attract not only termites but also other pests.

How To Prevent Termites

Prevention of termites is key. There are several ways to do this.

Moisture Reduced Inside And Outside

Getting rid of water sources that termites like is important. If you have standing water, it is necessary to get rid of it. Also, you want to make sure you don’t overwater the yard and use splash blocks and downspouts to steer the water away from the home.

Make Repairs

If you find loose mortar around the windows or near the foundation, and shingles from the roof that have rotted, you need to fix those. Also, take a look at the fascia, soffits, and weather stripping to see if they need replacing or repairing.

Check Exterior of the Home

Walk around the exterior of your home and look for mud tubes. Also, keep an eye out for bubbles in paint, or unevenness. Additionally, tap the wood to listen for hollow sounds and look for any changes in exterior areas.

Space Between House and Soil

There should be an 18-inch space between the wood parts of the house and also the soil. Also, if you have firewood, keep it at least 20 feet away from the home to avoid termites.

Recommended Maintenance

Now that you know what termites look like with the human eye, let’s take a look at a few other areas of maintenance. One of those is if termites bite people. The answer is they can leave a red bump, but are more interested in plant materials and wood so you don’t need to worry.

Next is roof rats. Roof rats can be dangerous as they are destructive like termites, except they can chew through structures and electrical wires and can contaminate your food source.

Lastly, having a termite inspection on the home is a great idea and also very responsible. Let the experts take care of finding the pests and help you get rid of them too. Once a year is a good rule of thumb.

When to Contact a Professional

Termites are nothing to play with. They can cause a lot of destruction as well as financial woes for the homeowner. Keeping an eye on the openings around the house and what to look for as mentioned above are important. Also, calling your local pest control company to start a termite service is a good idea while you also have a pest control inspection done.


Now you know what to look for in the home to see if there are termites that you can take the time to seal up access points and make repairs. You can also keep their food sources away. Termites are destructive and need to be kept at bay from the beginning.

Hire your local pest control company to assist you in protecting your home against all insects. Call Honor Services and we will gladly assist you with some pest control recommendations while conducting a thorough home inspection in Melbourne, FL, and surrounding areas.

Michelle Shishilla

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