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Swarming Termites and Other Termite FAQ’s

Do termites bite?

While termites can bite humans, they rarely do.  Only the soldier class of termites, with their large pinchers, have the ability to bite humans.  Instead of a bite, if it were to occur, it would feel more like a pinch.

Termites are not considered to be dangerous to humans.

Do termites have wings?

Some types of termites do have wings within a termite colony.  While worker and soldier termites lack wings, the reproductive or alate termites do have wings.  Termites that do have wings have the responsibility of leaving the termite colony to establish a new colony.

Termites with wings are often the first sign a homeowner will notice that indicates a potential termite infestation.

Types of termites?

There are two major divisions of termites: subterranean termites and drywood termites.  Of these, subterranean termites are most often an issue in homes in the southeastern United States.  Subterranean termites spend most of their lives underground in termite nests or colonies.

In Mississippi, the two most common types of subterranean termites are formosan termites and eastern termites.

What are swarming termites?

Swarming termites are common the the US in the spring and early summer months.  Termite swarmers are the reproductives of the termite colony.  The function of termite swarmers, or alates, is to leave the termite colony and establish a new colony.

Termite swarmers are often the first sign a homeowner will recognize as a potential termite infestation.  While termite swarmers do not eat or damage wood, they are an indicator of termites around or inside the home.

Carpenter ants vs termites?

Both carpenter ants and termites are considered to be wood destroying pests.  While termites eat wood to get cellulose, carpenter ants only tunnel through wood.  So what’s the difference between carpenter ants vs termites?

First, termites have thick bodies with no waists, whereas; carpenter ants have pinched waists.  Second, termites have two sets of equally sized wings.  Carpenter ants have two sets of different sized wings.  Third, termites have straight antennae, but carpenter ants have elbowed antennae.

How big are termites?

Adult termites range in size from about 1/4 inch to almost one inch in length.  The type of termite species also determines the full grown size of termites.  In addition to termite size, other characteristics such as body color and shape can be used to accurately identify the termite species infesting your home.

Baby termites, or termite nymphs, are much smaller than adult termites at about 1/10 inches in length.

What do baby termites look like?

Baby termites, or nymphs, can look similar to adult termites except baby termites are much smaller.  Another distinguishing characteristic of baby termites is their color.  While adult termites are dark in color, baby termites can appear white or off-white and almost translucent.

Baby termites are a sign of a growing termite colony and potential termite infestation.

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