An Overview of Termite Classifications and Species – By Clean and Green Pest Control

Compared to other pests, termites are more of the stealthy and silent type, but that doesn’t mean they’re not capable of destroying your belongings and even entire areas in your home. In fact, being silent pests make them more dangerous as you won’t even know you have a termite infestation going on on your property. The best way to deal with termites is by first identifying them. Here’s a quick guide about identifying termites and how they can be one of the most destructive pests known to man today.

What Do Termites Look Like?

Termites are very similar to ants. In fact, most people mistake ants for termites due to some shared physical similarities. There are numerous species of termites, and they all behave differently. Generally, they look like small insects with a straight waist, straight antennae, and they usually come in white or translucent colour.

Differences Between Ants and Termites

Confusing termites with ants is understandable, especially since some species, particularly the swarming termites, look like some flying ant species. But the main differences between them are:

  • Termites have a straight waist, while ants have pinched waists.
  • Termite antennas are also straight, while ants have bent antennas
  • Termites also have four wings of the same length, while ant wings have different lengths.

One more distinct characteristic of termites is that they tend to shed their wings, while ants don’t. So when you see tiny pieces of insect wings lying around your house, that’s a bad sign. It means that you have a termite presence in your home, and they’ve probably already established a nest somewhere.

Termite Colony Classifications

In Australia alone, there are about 360 species of termites. Regardless of the species, however, there are always four distinctive categories of termites in a colony. These four classifications are:

  • The Alates – Those winged termites we mentioned are what pest management experts call the Alates. These winged termite swarmers go out of the nest in order to establish new colonies. They are the reproducers of the colony, and they do this by pairing up and finding new places to lay a nest.
  • The King and the Queen – After those alates swarmers find a good place to establish a colony, they then shed their wings and start to reproduce. This is how colonies are created. The nest is then built around the termite queen, which prevents her from moving. The queen is then able to lay up to 30,000 eggs each day, which can easily turn into 10 million termites in a year.
  • The Soldiers – Termite soldiers defend the colony against enemies such as ants. These are the classic images of termites that you see in movies and documentaries. They have big jaws and can produce sticky fluids or chemical sprays to attack enemies.
  • The Workers – Of course, the colony will not be complete without the termite workers. The majority of the colony are made up of workers who take care of feeding, grooming, making tunnels, eliminating feces and so on. While they seem to have the most tedious work, they are the ones causing all the destruction in your home.


Knowing what termites are and how they operate is the first step to learning how to eliminate them from your home. This guide should help you better understand how these pests live and how much damage they can cause to any property. Still, the best way to deal with them is to call your local Sydney pest control experts.

Clean & Green Pest Managers is your go-to exterminator and pest management specialists. Whether you have cockroaches, rodents, termites, or even a wasp infestation, our team is always at the ready to get rid of them for you. Contact us whenever you need residential and commercial pest control in Sydney.