What Kind of Termites Do I Have? Or Are They Ants?

June 14, 2017by

We offer termite treatment.If you have an infestation of insects in your home, the best thing to do is to have your home inspected, especially if you suspect that these insects are termites. Why? Well, termites can cause major damage to your home. Since these nasty creatures devour wood by the pound (a colony can consume a pound of wood in a matter of days), it’s best to act right away if you suspect that you may have termites in your home. But how can you tell the difference between termites and ants (which are far more harmless)? Well, that’s the topic of today’s blog. We’re going to spell out some of the differences that you can examine between ants and termites, and we’re going to dissect the differences between two termite species that are common here in the Los Angeles, San Diego, and Orange County areas.


Ants, like termites, have three easily observable body segments. Also, like termites, some ant species can grow wings (these ants are called drones). And, like subterranean termites, ants usually live within the earth, and they leave their nests to locate sources of food or to form a new colony.

Fortunately, there are several differences between ants and termites. First of all, ants have a smaller central body segment than termites. Ants also have distinctive antennae, their antennae are bent at about a 90 degree angle halfway across the length of an antenna. Winged ants also have four wings with two larger wings toward the front of their bodies, unlike termites which have uniform wings.


As we mentioned, termites tend to be more cylindrical in their body composition; all three of their body segments are relatively similar in size. In addition, termites have antennae that are relatively straight. Now there are some distinctive differences between drywood and subterranean termite species; both of which thrive in the climate here in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Orange County. Let’s delve into those differences.

Drywood Termites

Drywood termites thrive within wood structures, yet they can survive outside of a wood structure for an extended period of time (unlike subterranean termites). That means that drywood termites often live farther away from the ground, and they can form a colony in wood at any height throughout a building. You may notice drywood termite droppings, which look like small wood pellets, if you have exposed wood. Unless they’re swarming, you may only see a few drywood termites that are outside of their colony, since they build tunnels in wood. But if you do notice a drywood termite, it will have a very cylindrical body, with all segments of the body nearly uniform in size.

Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites build their colonies within the earth. If you have a subterranean termite infestation, the first sign you might notice may be their mud tunnel structures. Subterranean termites build mud tunnels from the ground to their food source, since they can’t survive long while exposed to the outdoor environment. Subterranean termites have a slight indent in their body after their head, unlike drywood termites.

Time to Call a Pro

If you think you have termites, or you can’t decide what insects plague your home, it’s time to call in a professional termite inspector to identify those insects. It’s crucial to act right away if you think you have a termite infestation. Gone unattended, termites can damage your home, and they can swarm to build new colonies throughout your home, which compounds the problem. Don’t wait. Get in touch with a termite specialist. If you live here in Los Angeles, San Diego, or Orange County, you can count on the termite control specialists here at Hi-Tech Termite Control. Book a free inspection today!