Termites come in a variety of sizes, which are determined by the age, type and species of each individual termite. It all starts with the egg, which is very small, requiring a magnifying glass to be observed. This egg then hatches into a tiny larva, which grows over a few weeks becoming a small worker, with six legs, that is still hard to observe with the naked eye. The worker is the basic building block of a colony, and it will grow in size as it ages.
Reproductive termites are larger than workers, usually measuring about one inch in length, and these are the termites that you are likely to see outside of a nest. They are longer when they have their wings, which they use to fly and find suitable nest locations. However, once they land, they lose their wings, and eventually burrow underground, where they begin reproducing.
The sizes of different termite species
Most of the termites in the US belong to the subterranean termite species. Workers from this species measure between ⅛” to ¼”, with some growing to ⅜”. Soldiers are slightly larger, and the reproductives reach about ¾” without their wings, which are longer than their bodies. Once a queen begins to gestate, its abdomen can grow quite large, reaching two inches in length and half an inch in width.
Formosan termites are also a subterranean species, but they are about 10-20% larger than their cousins. Their nests can also grow bigger and have a wider reach. Drywood termites are the second most common species in the US, and they are larger, with a standard worker length of ⅜”. However, their queens do not grow as large as those of subterranean termites. Finally, the dampwood termites are the largest in the US, with workers and soldiers ranging from ½” to ⅝” in length.
Have you noticed any termites on your property?
If you notice any white ants in your home that are similar in size to what we’ve described above, you may have a termite infestation. Usually, you will only be able to see the reproductives of a colony, which swarm and fly out of the nest, but they are indication enough that you may already have an infestation, or that one is about to occur. If you have noticed any of these insects on your property, contact us today. Do not wait until the termites start to develop a colony and do any damage to your home.