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Termites are small insects that have mastered cooperation, allowing them to achieve things such as building huge mud towers, hollowing trees, moving vast amounts of soil, and… eating your house.

One thing you need to know is how to tell apart a termite from an ant. Most people are comfortable that they know what an ant is, but hardly anyone seems sure they know what makes a termite a termite. Here's a few tips on how to tell them apart:

• Color: Most termites are typically whitish and almost see through. But some winged ones are usually much darker. An ant has many possible colors. Usually black, red or brown.

• Shape: A termite has six fairly short legs. An ant has a narrow waist and longer legs.

• Wings: A termite has four wings of equal length and longer than the size if its body. These wings are discarded after they find a proper place to nest. An ant also has four wings. However, the rear wings are smaller than the front pair and are smaller than the body. Winged ants are typically about the same color as the rest of the colony.

• Head: The head of a termite usually has no eyes unless it is a winged reproductive or "swarmer". A soldier termite has a bigger, darker head with a set of visible pinchers. An ant has obvious eyes.

• Antennae: A termites antennae are straight, short and look like a string of round beads. An ants antennae are elbowed (meaning that they bend half way), and are much longer than a termites.

• Body: A termite's body is a thick waist and a soft body. An ant has a thin waist and you can easily make out its abdomen, thorax, etc.


Small, pale, soft bodied social insects that live in a colony divided into castes or groups. The most numerous caste is relatively undifferentiated and perform much of the colony work. There is a specialized soldier caste that with stronger features such as a bigger head and mouthpart are more suitable for defense than feeding. The reproductive caste, known as alates or winged ones are produced when nymphs mature and develop wings, eyes, and a darker color.


Explore more on Termites :

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How to Perform a Termite Inspection

What is a Drywood Termite

What is a Soldier Termite

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