If you have seen a bug that looks like an ant, with or without wings, you may be wondering if it is a termite. Depending on the state of their lifecycle, termites can, indeed, look a lot like ants. However, they change appearance throughout their lifetime. Here are the various things you need to look for if you are trying to find termites.

Termite Lifecycle

Termites start as eggs, which look like tiny little round balls. When the eggs hatch, the termites are pale white larvae. The larvae then molt and become nymphs. Termites may go through multiple molting phases. The molting phase helps termites transition into their roles in the colony. The roles are workers, soldiers, and reproduction. The physical appearance of termites varies a little with their role in the colony.

Worker termites are pale or white in colour. They have round heads and bodies, with straight antennae. Their heads and bodies are proportional. The workers are smaller than the king and queen. The soldier termites are darker in colour, usually a yellow-brown colour. Their heads are not proportionate to their bodies- they are very big, and they have large mandibles. Reproductive termites (alates) are the darkest of the termite groups, and they have two pairs of wings.
The life cycle of the termite is interesting. It does not appear that there is a difference in termites in their egg form. Instead, in the larvae stage, termites develop in different ways to meet the colony’s needs. Termites can also develop into other types of termites during adulthood if the colony’s needs change.

When alates become fertile, they develop their wings as well as functioning eyes. They begin to prepare to leave the colony and find places to set up other colonies. They fly to different places in a process known as swarming. Seeing swarms emerge from homes or other woody areas is one way people realise they have a termite problem.

Termites live longer than many other bugs. The queens can live for over a decade if the climate conditions are favourable. Workers and soldiers have a much shorter life span, living approximately one or two years.

Eliminating Termites Year Round

Getting rid of termites permanently and protecting your home requires the assistance of a professional. It’s imperative to have an annual timber pest inspection and regular treatments to protect your home. Our Home Protection plans cover timber pest inspections and termite warranty inspections to keep you and your home protected. Give Flick a call to at 1300 270 019!