Background: I recently purchased a house in northern New Mexico, and as part of the purchase, a termite inspection was performed and a prior termite infestation was found, as well as evidence of prior treatment (holes in the ground around the foundation). No current infestation was found. After tearing off some drywall, I found termite tubes inside a wall with no termites in them. So I was satisfied that the colony had been killed.

Previous owners had a new layer of exterior stucco applied to the house, and very badly, because it's flaking off (I plan to redo it soon). Today I accidentally knocked loose a piece of stucco on the base of an exterior wall while doing some yard work and as soon as it hit the ground, a bunch of tiny insects swarmed out of it.

My question is this: are they termites? I didn't find any mud tubes underneath the piece of stucco that flaked off. If they're not termites, what might they be, and what might be the effects of having them living in the wall cladding?



  • 1
    Those don't look like any type of termite I've seen, at least in the southwest USA.
    – Zach
    Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 23:43
  • 6
    Termites look more like ants. You might try emailing these pictures to your local cooperative extension if you live in the US. Commented Apr 16, 2014 at 0:34
  • I'd never even heard of this, but it doesn't sound like a bad plan. I've fired off an email.
    – iLikeDirt
    Commented Apr 16, 2014 at 2:31

1 Answer 1


Not termites! According to an NMSU Entomologist who examined my pictures, they are a type of Springtail.

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Thanks for turning me on to this whole "local cooperative extension" thing, Wayne. What a great resource!

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