Do Termites Fly? 17 Frequently Asked Questions About Flying Termites

flying-termites

Termites are active all year round. In warmer months, these unwelcome pests make their presence known through swarms, droppings, and discarded wings. Termite swarms mark the start of the termite season, which happens once a year. They create nests both above and underground, and when they gain access to your home, they can cause costly damage in structural repairs.

If you see flying termites around or inside your home, get a termite inspection done. This could be a warning sign for two potential threats:

  • You already have a termite infestation
  • You are at potential risk of termite infestation

Here are 17 common questions we answer about flying termites:

  1. Do termites have wings?

Do termites fly? Yes, they can. But not all. Only winged termites can fly for a short period of time before they lose their wings.

Certain types of termites in certain stages of their life cycle have wings. There are 4 castes of a termite colony, and they include:

  • Termite king & queen
  • Workers
  • Soldiers
  • Alates/flying termites/winged termites

Out of the termite castes, only alates have wings to fly.

  1. What are flying termites?

Flying termites are adult reproductive termites called swarmers.

  1. How do flying termites get in your house?

One of the most common ways for termites to get in your home is through wood-to-soil contact, including deck posts, doorframes, and porch steps or supports. They can also enter through cracks in brick mortar and cracks in the foundation.

  1. What does flying termites look like?

Depending on the species, they are 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch in size. They are usually light in color. They have 2 pairs of same sized wings.

  1. What color are termite wings, and how do they look?

The color of termite wings is either white or translucent. They have 2 pairs of wings, and both pairs are of the same size.

  1. Why does flying termites mean serious trouble?

Flying termites are a warning sign of potential damage to property. Termite colonies usually mature in about three to six years and produce alates. During this time, the termite workers feed on wood to cause costly damage to your home or property. The worker stage termites eat the soft interior portions of the wood, leaving the outer shell intact, because of which, it may take a while before the damage reveals itself in the form of cracks, mud tubes, or collapse of the building’s wood.

  1. Why do flying termites swarm?

Termites swarm to breed and start new colonies that mark the beginning of the termite life cycle.

  1. What attracts flying termites?

Winged termites are highly attracted to light. They fly to the sources of light, such as street lamps, and swarm around them.

  1. Do termites shed their wings?

Yes. After they have successfully mated with other termites, they land, shed their wings, and begin the process of creating a new colony.

  1. How long do flying termites last?

They last only for a few minutes. The swarmers fly a short distance, fall to the ground, and shed their wings. Most of the swarmers die within a day or so of the swarm.

  1. What do flying termites eat?

Flying termites eat wood and anything containing cellulose, such as books, wallpaper, carpet backing, boxes, and furniture.

  1. Are flying ants termites?

No. While both species have four wings, there are a few differences:

Flying termites vs. flying ants

FLYING TERMITES FLYING ANTS
Wings 2 pairs of uniform-sized wings in white or translucent color Front wings longer than the back wings
Colour Tan or beige in color depending on the species. Mostly red or black color.
Waist Thick waist. No constriction between the abdomen and thorax. Thin waist. There is a constriction between the abdomen and thorax
Antennae Straight antennae Bent antennae

 

  1. How big are flying termites?

Depending on the species, the size of flying termites can range from 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch.

  1. Why do termite wings fall off?

After mating and fertilization, winged termites land and shed their wings.

  1. How to kill flying termites?

There are multiple termite treatment options to kill termites, including

  • Liquid termiticide treatment
  • Termite baiting treatment
  • Termite monitoring

Call termite pest control services to kill the termites and prevent further infestation.

  1. When do termites fly?

They usually fly in the spring. When the ambient air temperature starts to rise, the young adult winged termites emerge from their nests in large groups.

  1. How to get rid of termites with wings in the house?

There are things you can do now to protect your home. Here are a few tips:

  • Repair moisture issues such as drainage concerns, leaks, excess condensation, etc.
  • Remove extraneous wood and debris such as fallen trees, leaf litter, etc., from near your home and your yard
  • Don’t use untreated wood or timber for construction work
  • Watch heating and cooling units closely for condensation issues
  • Pull back the mulch from the foundation
  • Avoid contact of wood with soil
  • Don’t stack firewood next to your home

Termites are capable of causing extensive damage to a home. If you suspect you have termites nesting in your home, the sooner you call for help, the better it is. Contact professional pest control experts to get rid of termites . At Take Care Termite, our termite experts will develop a customized plan to eliminate flying termites to keep your home and family safe.

2 Comments

  • Afton Jackson Reply

    Thank you for helping me understand why flying termites are extremely dangerous and that I should act quickly if I see some. There has been a lot of talk among my neighbors about bug infestations and how they’re preparing for them, and I wanted to do my own research about the potential pests that might eventually invade my own home. These termites sound the most dangerous since my house is made mostly out of wood, so I’ll look for any pest control services that can help me ensure that my house is ready for them.

  • Robin Blanchard Reply

    Thanks for the detail. Termites are the most frightful in my opinion of pests. The damage that can be caused is usually costly and not found until much damage is done. Regular control and inspection is necessary to keep these critters under control. Thanks for the information about flying termites which many people get confused about.

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