10 Facts About Black Termites With & Without Wings

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Termites are small, hard-to-see insects that can cause a lot of damage to your home. So do you want to know ten facts about black termites with and without wings? There are different termites, but all of them swarm in spring when the temperatures start warming up.

Termites can infest your home for years before you even know they’re there, so it’s important to have regular inspections and treat any problems as soon as they’re detected.

Continue reading to find more facts about termites

4 Different Types of Swarming Termites Species

10 Facts About Black Termites With & Without Wings

Dampwood Termites

Dampwood termites are a large species of termite found in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.

They are often confused with subterranean termites, but they are larger and have different physical characteristics. Dampwood termites also have wings, but they do not fly as well as other species.

Drywood Termites

Drywood termites form colonies of up to 2,500 members. They don’t have workers that do all the work; they have soldiers that defend the colony and reproductives that create new colonies. Drywood termites damage wood by eating the cellulose inside.

Formosan Termites

Formosan termites are distinguishable from other types of subterranean termites because they have three different castes in their colonies- workers, soldiers, and reproductives. Their size is about 1/2 inch long, and they are light brown to black.

Subterranean Termites

Their swarmers identify subterranean termites- black termites without wings or pale white, dark brown, or black termites without wings. They also have a straight waist, straight antennae, and wings equal in size.

Furthermore, subterranean termites can be distinguished by their color; they have a black color. Lastly, winged termites are swarmers, and they reproduce by swarming.

10 Facts About Black Termites With & Without Wings

FLying termites

Termites Are Good for Soil

Termites are important decomposers that play a significant role in the environment. It helps to create healthy soil and ecosystems. Termites feed on plants or fungus growing on plant material.

Microorganisms in the termite gut break down cellulose, the main component of plant cell walls. This process helps to recycle carbon and nitrogen back into the environment.

The termites get food from the bacteria and protozoa, while the bacteria and protozoa get a safe place to live. In this way, termites are important in maintaining soil health.

All termites are not created equal.

There are many different termites, but they can be broadly classified into two categories- subterranean and drywood.

Subterranean termites live in colonies that are established in the ground. They get their name because they build their nests underground.

Drywood termites do not require soil and instead live in wooden structures. They can cause significant damage to homes and other wooden structures.

Termites Feed on Each Other’s Feces

Termites are fascinating creatures, and there is a lot that people don’t know about them. One of the most interesting things about termites is eating their feces.

It is known as trophallaxis, and it is a big part of life in the termite mound. Termites also engage in trophallaxis when hungry or need to resupply after molting.

Winged termites are not species of termites.

Winged termites are not species of termites. They are just a caste of termites that are produced by colonies. 

Termites have many different castes, including the winged termites produced to establish new colonies. These winged termites have long white wings that are black.

Termites Lived 130 Million Years Ago

Termites are one of the most ancient pest species in their family. They evolved over 130 million years ago and have a mutualism with protozoans that date back to 100 million years ago. The early termite is from the Cretaceous period and is found in amber.

Termite Fathers Help Raise Their Young Baby Termites

The king of the termite colony is the male. After their nuptial flight, the termite king stays with his queen, fertilizing her eggs. The king shares parental duties with the queen- they both take care of and feed the young.

Workers Termites Are Blind Most Of The Time

Termites are blind and rely on their sense of smell to navigate their way around. The only termites that require eyesight are the reproductive termites since they must fly to find mates and new nest sites.

Most of the time, the workers and soldiers are too busy working to bother with finding food or defending the colony and thus do not need eyesight.

Termite Soldiers Sound the Alarm Upon Threat To Termite Colony

Termite soldiers have the important job of sounding the alarm when danger comes to the nest. They form a mosh pit when they sense danger by banging their heads against the gallery walls.

It creates a loud noise that warns the other termites of the danger. The world’s tiniest heavy metal mosh pit is formed and amazing!

Termites Communicate Through Chemical Cues 

Termites use chemical cues to communicate with each other. These cues can be in the form of pheromones, which are special scents that control the behavior of other termites.

Each colony has a distinct scent that allows members to identify their colony and helps the queen control her young. Additionally, queens produce a special kind of poop called royal jelly, which helps keep the colony healthy.

New Kings and Queens Termites Can Fly

New reproductive termites, also known as alates, are winged. They are the new kings and queens of the colony. When they reach maturity, they leave their home colony and fly out in search of a mate.

Once they find a mate, they break their wings off and settle down in their new home to raise offspring.

What is the size of a termite?

What is the size of a termite?

Termites come in various sizes, the smallest of which is about 0.0008 in (0.002 cm). The largest termite can be up to 1 in (2.5 cm) long. They vary in size based on their species. Different types of termites can cause different levels of property damage.

Like the subterranean termite, some are known to cause severe damage, while others, like the drywood termite, are less destructive.

Early warning signs of termites damage in house

Early warning signs of termites damage in house

There are a few signs that you may have a termite infestation in your home. Termites eat away at the wood from the inside out, so you may see hollow-sounding walls, blistered floorboards, or damaged subflooring.

They also leave droppings behind, which will look like piles of sawdust or coffee grounds.

Also, check the presence of mud tubes, which subterranean termites build to protect them from the sun and air as they locate food sources. Another sign is the presence of dead termites or discarded wings, which can be evidence of a new swarm.

Do termites need water?

Termites come in different varieties, some of which have wings and some don’t. They also have different moisture requirements.

Termites that don’t have wings need a higher humidity level to survive, while those with wings can live in drier environments. Termites need water from the wood they consume to digest it.

Do termites live underground?

Do termites live underground?

Termites are a common pest, and there are various types of them. There are two main types of termites- the ones with wings and those without wings.

Termites cannot survive in the light, and most destructive termites live underground. Soil, landscaping timbers, and woodpiles are likely to be disturbed when termites are present.

Where do termites nest?

Termites build nests in various places, both above ground, and underground. The most well-known type of nest is the mound, a large hill made up of termite saliva and excreta. However, subterranean nests are also entirely underground and look like mounds to the untrained eye.

Additionally, some nests are built by other animals like ants and bees, who use termites as laborers to help build their nests.

Can you normally live in a house with termites swarms, mounds and infestation?

Termites do not carry diseases that can harm humans. However, people may suffer from allergic reactions and asthma attacks due to contact with termites.

Also, heating or ventilation systems can spread irritating particles and dust from termite nests.

Where do termites live? (Habitat)

Where do termites live? (Habitat)

Termites can be found worldwide and in a variety of climates. They are attracted to moisture and wood, so they often live near sources of water and in forests. There are two termites with wings (alates) and those without wings (nymphs).

The alates mate in flight and then shed their wings once they land. The king and queen then become the epicenter of the new colony and are responsible for reproduction.


In conclusion, there are many differences between ants and termites. Some of the most notable distinctions are that ants have a narrow waist while termites do not, ants have elbowed antennae while termites have straight antennae, and termites and ants have winged reproductive forms. Still, the forewings and hind wings are different sizes.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.