Characteristics of a Termite
It is not unusual for a termite to be mistaken for an ant. This is one reason why some individuals are not aware that they possibly have a termite problem. The reason why the resemble ants is because of their rounded heads and eyes that cannot be seen. The antennae even have what appear to be small beads on the end of them.
The soldiers have larger heads and they are darker in color than the other termites. They also have jaws that are very strong. If you are looking at a colony of termites, you may be able to distinguish the soldiers from the rest. Finding the soldiers can help you to identify whether or not you are dealing with is termites. The presence of soldiers can be quite rare, though.
What can be confusing about the characteristics of termites, however, is that some are winged and some are not. The winged termites are those that reproduce. The wings eventually shed after they have made their flight to reproduce. It is important to the termite species that a male and female find each other and create a colony. This means that there are a lot of termite colonies out there, whether they are eating the wood within buildings or they are living in the ground, foraging for food that way.
When in the flying phase, you can expect to see them flying when the air is still. The day should be a humid one as well with rain in the forecast. If you look around, you may see them flying the short distance that they fly to thrive. They are very week flyers, which is why the need the aforementioned environmental conditions to be successful at it.
Termites also display a certain behavior. If you have difficulty identifying them, look for them to live in complete darkness. This is one reason why they like to love in buildings. The wood is housed in walls and it is very dark in these areas. The only times they are not in the dark are when they are building their colonies or they are flying to find their home. The only time you will truly see them is if they are making their way into the building or if you tear into a wall to find them. It can be a rather frightening site to break into a wall and see a termite colony because there are so many of them in the area.
If you break into an area where there are termites, they will follow their scent trail to go back where they came from. If this is not available to them, they will try to hide from you in any nook and cranny they can find.
You may hear termites referred to as “white ants.” The truth is that they are not associated with ants in any way, although they can be mistaken for them. And just like ants, they make their way into a structure. The only difference, however, is that ants are not always looking to stay. They are looking for food to carry home to their colonies. Termites want to make the structure their food and to live there at the same time.
Overall, the structures of the two insects are very different. Some individuals can note these structural differences easily, while others may have difficulty if they are not familiar with the characteristics of termites. If you are not sure what kind of insect you have, the fact is you have an insect that will ultimately cause problems and needs exterminated as soon as possible.