Identifying Subterranean Termites
Termites can be found across the united states, and reside in every state besides Alaska. Subterranean termites live in soil, hence the name, subterranean. However, they pose a threat to us when they enter our homes and cause destruction and damage as they devour wooden structures. It may be hard to pinpoint a subterranean termite infestation at first, due to the fact that they usually hide their activity inside of walls or under the siding on your home. The most common evidence we find is Mud Tubes and Swarmers (Reproductive Termites)
There are several different types of subterranean termites, each with a slightly different look than the others. First, there are the winged subterranean termites, commonly called swarmers. These termites range in color from black to light yellowish brown and have wings. Here in California we seem being primarily Black They look similar to winged ants and can easily be confused with them. You can tell a winged termite apart from a winged ant by observing it closely. A winged termite has four equal length clear wings, while a winged ant has two long wings and two shorter wings. A termite has two straight antennae, while a winged ant ‘s antennae bend in towards each other. The biggest difference is that a termite has only two body segments which will be a solid color, while a winged ant has three body segments and can often be found with red and black coloring.
Worker subterranean termites do the most damage. Worker termites make up the majority of a subterranean termite colony and are the termites that would most likely be found in homes, destroying wood. These worker termites are a light cream color and do not have wings. Soldier subterranean termites look just like the worker termites, except they have larger brown heads and pincher type jaws. A sign that a subterranean termite colony has matured is that a large amount of swarmers, or winged termites will be present. This usually occurs two to four years after the colony has started. These winged termites swarm from around the months of January to April and are active during the daytime.