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Written by Tim Denner
on November 04, 2021

It is scary to think that you have discovered a termite in your home. Termites are harmful pests that have the potential to cause widespread and costly damage to your home. The pest you found may be a termite but there is another type of pest that is commonly confused with termites – the webspinner. It is helpful to learn about the differences between webspinners and termites so you can take the appropriate action when you see either of these pests in or around your home.


There are two main types of termites that you will encounter in this part of California: subterranean termites and drywood termites. Subterranean termites build their colonies in the soil and need to stay in close contact with moisture-rich soil in order to survive. Subterranean termites create mudtubes that allow them to move quickly and safely between their colony and food supply. Drywood termites do not need to stay in close contact with the soil to survive and are often found inside walls, flooring, and even wooden furniture.

Both types of termites can cause serious damage to your home. In fact, termites cause expensive damage to properties around the United States each year. A termite infestation in your home requires quick action. You need to bring in a pest control professional as soon as possible to assess the severity of your infestation and provide effective treatment.  


Webspinner is the common name for an insect that creates tunnels or webs of silk. Webspinners are found throughout the Southwest region of the United States, including California. These insects can be found in homes throughout California and are attracted to light. Webspinners do not pose a threat to the environment, to the people in your home, or to the physical structure of your property. You may not want to have webspinners in your house but their presence does not pose any major risks.

Physical properties of termites vs webspinners

Termites and webspinners often get confused because they have bodies that are similar in size and shape. Both insects are around 10 mm in length and can be winged or wingless. Termites and webspinners both have six legs and two antennae. Webspinners are typically dark in color– with colors ranging from red to black. While termite colors can range from white to light brown in color. A major difference between webspinners and termites are the front mandibles that are found on termites but not on webspinners.

Knowing the basic differences between termites and webspinners can help you determine what type of issue you have in your home. The reality is, however, that it can be difficult to differentiate between the two pests even if you understand what sets them apart from one another. It usually takes the expert eye of a pest control professional to accurately determine what type of pest you have in your home. If you need help figuring out what type of pest you have discovered in your home, reach out to the pros at TAPS Termite to schedule a pest inspection.

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