Written by

David Floyd

David Floyd

Reviewed by

Brett Ehlert

Brett Ehlert

How Big Are Termites? – Termites Sizes With A Pest Control Technician!

Termites are a major threat to properties and wooden structures. Although most people are aware of this, identifying termites can be a bit difficult due to their small size. All termites are not exactly similar. So how big is a termite and how big can they get?

With my 20 years of pest control experience as a technician, the biggest issue I’ve seen homeowners have is that they don’t know what termites look like, and how big termites are. Along with this, termites can often be confused with other insects. So in this article, we’ll be covering how big termites are, and my best tips on how to identify termites.

group of termites

How Big Is A Termite?

  • Workers: 1/8th Inch – 3/4th Inch Long
  • Soldiers: 1/8th Inch – 3/4th Inch Long
  • Reproductives: 1 Inch Long

Subterranean termites can be shorter with a length of ⅛ inches but could also grow up to ¼ inches, or even ⅜ inches. The soldier termites here will have a longer body while the reproductive king and queen termites are the next in line”.  If you’re worried about being bitten by termites, soldier termites have been known to bite humans.

This measurement does not include the wings, as well as the extension of the abdomen of the queen which becomes longer when she starts laying eggs. The abdomen can increase to about 2 inches long. As you may already know, seeing a termite queen is a rare event because she’s always in the nest.

The Formosan subterranean termites are 10 to 20 times larger than the common subterranean termites even if they look alike.

Drywood Termite Size:

  • Soldiers: 3/8th Inch Long
  • Workers: 3/8th Inch Long
  • Reproductives: 1/2th Inch – 1 Inch Long

As for drywood termites, mature drywood worker termites are about ⅜ in length. The king measures around half an inch long while the queen isn’t as big as those in other species like the dampwood or subterranean termites. 

Dampwood Termite Size:

  • Soldiers: 1/2th Inch – 1 Inch Long
  • Workers: 1/2th Inch – 1 Inch Long
  • Reproductives: 1 Inch Long

When it comes to dampwood termites, they are the largest species in the United States and can be found in Southern Florida, as well as the rain forests of the Pacific Coast. They have workers and soldiers that measure anywhere from ½ an inch to ⅝ inches in length when they reach full maturity.

Factors Determining the Size of Adult Termites 

The things that come into play to determine termite size are age, food, and environmental factors. Queens and kings are always the largest in the colony. As for the width, it depends on the species, and quality of food supply, and is relative to the length of the termite. The best way to identify a termite is by its length. The presence or absence of wings always affects the overall width of the termites.

Larva size

Regarding the size of termite larvae, they are usually so small that it is difficult to spot one single larva. Most termite larvae are around a tenth of an inch in length. The larva of a termite resembles the worker termites but is smaller. Their legs, arms, and heads can be identified. 

The Size of Termite Eggs

The queen lays eggs running into thousands each year. You need to look very properly to spot the eggs. The termite eggs are usually in clusters. The size of the egg is about the size of a dot. A magnifying glass will be needed to see them properly. After 3 weeks, the size of the egg increases because it has developed.

The Sizes of Adults Across the Different Termite Species 

These are the largest members of the group with a size of approximately 1 inch in length, especially when they are found with wings that extend behind their body.

termite size

What is the size of adult termites? Well, it ranges from ¼ to ½ of an inch. There are species of termites that have the capacity to grow bigger such as the dampwood termite. Growing bigger may not sound like a problem but when it comes to bugs, simply a doubling in length can cause serious havoc.

Each species of termite has a different size. So, with the size of the termite, you can tell which species is responsible for the infestation. Let’s take a look at the common species that are available, in this case, the drywood termite, dampwood termite, and subterranean termite, all of which fall within the range of ¼ inch to ½ inch. Each species has its size. The damp wood termites are twice as large as the subterranean termites. Keep in mind that some dampwood termites have the potential to grow up to 1 inch.

Are Termites Visible To The Human Eye?

Yes, termites are visible to the human eye, and larger termites such as the termite swarmers can be up to an inch long!

Is A Termite Bigger Than An Ant?

Although termites and ants can come in various sizes depending on the species, generally termites are bigger than ants!

How Big Is The Smallest Termite?

Worker termites are the smallest termites, and they are generally around 1/8th of an inch long.

Final Thoughts On Termite Size

The sizes of termites change according to their lifespan. Due to their similar sizes and appearance, you could easily mistake them for ants. But on close inspection, you’ll find it easier to tell the difference, identify the species, and know how to get rid of them. I hope you’ve enjoyed our guide on how big are termites and I hope it helps you identify what type of termite species you have!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide on how big is a termite!

Resources:

https://owic.oregonstate.edu/sites/default/files/pubs/termites.pdf

David Floyd:

David Floyd has 20 years of experience working as a pest control technician as well as running his own pest control company. David is Quality Pro certified and is a certified Structural Pest Control Operator in the state of North Carolina, and the owner of NCPestControlExperts pest control company.