Termites are notorious for their destructive wood-eating habits. Often mistaken for ants due to their similar appearance and colony lifestyle, these small, winged insects are capable of flight, although it is not a frequent occurrence, limited to only specific times of the year.
Find out in this article about the flying ability of termites and the crucial role it plays in their lives.
Do Termites Fly? And Why?
Termites can fly, but it’s not a frequent occurrence and is usually limited to specific times of the year. They have two pairs of wings that are equal in size and shape and use them to fly short distances.
- Termite flights, also called swarms, happen when a mature termite colony produces a large number of winged reproductive, also known as swarmers or alates.
- These swarmers’ purpose is to start new colonies and they fly short distances in search of a suitable mating and nesting site.
- Swarming typically occurs during the warmer months and is triggered by environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, and rainfall.
- Termites use pheromones to communicate and coordinate their flights and may fly for several hours before landing to mate and start a new colony.
- After mating, the male and female reproductive shed their wings and burrow into the ground to establish a new nest and reproduce.
- The rest of the termite colony, including the workers and soldiers, don’t have wings and are unable to fly.
- So, termites can fly, but it’s limited to certain times of the year and serves a specific purpose in their lives.
How Did I Get Flying Termites?
There are a few different ways that you might have flying termites, in your home or on your property.
- Termites are attracted to wood: If you have wood or other cellulose-based materials on your property, it is possible that termites may be attracted to these materials and start a nest. This is especially true if the wood is in contact with the ground, as termites prefer to nest in underground colonies.
- Termites are attracted to light: During a termite swarm, reproductive may be attracted to light sources such as windows and porch lights. If you have flying termites in your home, it is possible that they entered through an open window or door.
- Termites are attracted to moisture: Termites are attracted to moisture and may be more likely to swarm in areas with high humidity or dampness. If you have high levels of moisture in your home or on your property, it may be more likely to attract termites.
How Serious Are Flying Termites?
Flying termites can be a serious problem if they establish a nest on your property. Termites cause significant damage to buildings and structures by eating wood, and once established, they are difficult to eliminate.
If you see flying termites in your home or on your property, act quickly to prevent an infestation. Termite swarmers indicate a mature, established colony, and there may already be termites in the wood.
Seek the advice of a professional termite control company if you suspect a termite infestation. They can identify the type of termite and recommend the best course of action, which may include chemical treatments, physical barriers, or both.
Overall, flying termites can be serious if they establish a nest on your property. Act quickly to prevent infestation and protect your home and structures from damage.
When Do Flying Termites Come Out?
Flying termites usually emerge during the warmer months, such as spring or early summer. Swarms are triggered by temperature, humidity, and rainfall.
During a termite swarm, a mature colony produces winged reproductive that starts new colonies by flying short distances to mate and nest. The hives are short-lived, lasting only a few hours or days.
The male and female reproductives shed their wings and establish a new nest after mating, while the rest of the colony, including workers and soldiers, do not have wings.
If you see flying termites in your home or on your property, act quickly to prevent an infestation. Termites cause significant damage to buildings and structures, and it’s important to address the problem promptly.
How Can I Defend Against Flying Termites?
There are several steps that you can take to defend against flying termites, also known as swarmers or alates:
- Remove any sources of moisture: Termites are attracted to moisture, so it is important to eliminate any sources of moisture in and around your home. This may include fixing leaky pipes and drains, using dehumidifiers, and removing standing water from your property.
- Repair any damage: If you have damage to your home or other structures, it is important to repair it as soon as possible. Termites are attracted to wood that is already damaged, so fixing any damage can help to prevent an infestation.
- Use physical barriers: Physical barriers, such as mesh screens and weather stripping, can help to prevent termites from entering your home. These barriers can be especially effective when used in combination with chemical treatments.
- Use chemical treatments: Chemical treatments, such as termiticides, can kill termites and prevent them from establishing a new nest on your property. It is important to use chemical treatments according to the manufacturer’s instructions and to seek the advice of a professional pest control company if you are not sure how to use them safely.
- Inspect your property regularly: Regular inspections of your property can help to identify any potential sources of termite infestations. This may include inspecting the foundations of your home, looking for termite mud tubes, and checking for any signs of termite damage.
Overall, there are several steps that you can take to defend against flying termites. It is important to take action as soon as possible to prevent an infestation and protect your home and other structures from damage.
How Long Do Flying Termites Live?
The lifespan of flying termites depends on their role in the termite colony.
- Reproductive, which includes the winged alates, may live for several years.
- Other members of the colony, including workers and soldiers, have a shorter lifespan, living only a few months to a few years.
- After mating and establishing a new nest, reproductive begin to reproduce. Workers and soldiers are responsible for foraging for food, building and maintaining the nest, and caring for the young.
In short, the lifespan of flying termites varies based on their role in the termite colony and ranges from a few months to several years.
Video: Do Termites Fly?
Can flying termites harm humans?
Flying termites do not harm humans. They do not sting, bite, or carry diseases. However, flying termites can damage buildings and structures if they establish a nest on your property.
Termites are wood-eating insects that can cause significant damage to wood framing, flooring, and other building elements.
do termites fly around lights?
Yes, during a termite swarm, winged reproductive called swarmers or alates may fly around light sources such as windows and porch lights while searching for a mating and nesting site.
Termite swarms occur in warmer months and are triggered by environmental cues like temperature, humidity, and rainfall. The swarmers use pheromones to coordinate and may fly for several hours before landing to start a new colony.
do flying termites eat wood?
Flying termites do not eat wood. They are responsible for starting new colonies and do not have mouthparts or digestive system to consume wood.
Wood-eating termites cause significant damage to buildings and structures. Workers and soldiers, who make up majority of the colony, are responsible for feeding the colony by consuming wood.
Termites are winged insects known for their wood-eating habits. They are capable of flight, but it’s limited to specific times of the year during termite swarms. These swarms occur when a mature colony produces many reproductive to start new colonies.
They fly short distances to find a suitable mating and nesting site, using pheromones to coordinate their flights. Termite swarms typically happen during warm months and are triggered by environmental cues like temperature, humidity, and rainfall.
After mating, the reproductive shed their wings and establish a new nest. If you see flying termites, take action promptly to prevent an infestation and protect your home and structures from damage.
Meet Ali, the author of the pest control company’s blog. Ali is an entomologist with a Master’s degree in the field, making him an expert in the identification, behavior, and control of various pests. He uses his extensive knowledge and experience to provide valuable insights and tips on pest control to readers through the company’s blog.
In addition to his educational background, Ali has years of experience working in the pest control industry, giving him a well-rounded understanding of the industry and the various methods used to control pests. He stays current on the latest research and developments in the field, ensuring that the information provided on the blog is up-to-date and accurate.