A lot of people ask do termites fly? And the answer is yes. There are flying termites, and they’re just as destructive as their grounded counterparts. What’s really interesting is that these flying pests look a lot like flying ants, and many people think that they have flying ants which are far less of a problem than flying termites.
Before we discuss how to get rid of flying termites, we’re going to talk more about these winged termites.
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What Do Flying Termites Look Like?
Termites are around the same size as ants, and to the untrained eye, it would be difficult to distinguish between the two. We’re going to talk about a few of the main components to look at to fully understand what you’re dealing with:
- Antennae: The antennae of a termite is straight. When compared to an ant, it’s easy to distinguish because ants have bent antennae.
- Waist: Termites also have a straight waist that doesn’t get thinner like an ant’s waist.
- Wing Length: The length of the wings is the main characteristic used to tell these two pests apart. Termites have wings that are the same size. Ants, on the other hand, have two different wing lengths.
Termite swarmers are just 1/4 of an inch in length, so it’s very difficult to get a good look at them.
Why Do Termites Swarm?
Termites aren’t trying to be a burden, but they swarm because it’s time for them to create a new colony. This is when you’ll start to notice them near your home. And there are certain seasons when termites will swarm. We can call this the mating season.
When Do Termites Swarm?
For the most part, a flying termite swarm can be witnessed when the weather begins to get warmer. Climates where there is a distinct winter with cold weather can consider the spring and (to some extent) the summer as the season when termites will swarm.
In most cases, barring a cold spring, the termites will come out after a good rain storm.
Swarms are a group of termites that are working together to be able to find their own colony. It’s important to note that not all species of termites will swarm at the same time. But all species will swarm when the weather is warm.
So, if it’s the middle of winter and you think you’ve seen a termite swarm, it is highly unlikely that you’re actually dealing with termites.
Subterranean termites, for example, won’t swarm until they’re about three years in age. Winged termites indicate that the termite will swarm and is looking for a colony. What happens is that the swarmers will grow wings to be able to fly to their new colony where they’ll find a mate and reproduce.
Following a successful mating, the wings of the termite will fall off.
All of the females that mate in these partnerships will be considered the queen of her own colony. She will give birth to worker termites that will develop into soldiers in some cases, which will act to protect the queen and anyone in their colony.
It’s like the growth of the Middle Ages.
And the queen is your main target. One queen can lay a million eggs in her lifetime.
3 Ways to Get Rid of Flying Termites in Your House
1. Bug Zappers
Termites, like most insects, love light. This light will attract them and electrocute them if it’s a bug zapper. Obviously, this only works if the flying termites are outside of the home, but it’s a method that is recommended by professional exterminators.
You can use a fly swatter to kill them yourself, but this is far more practical.
The key is to shut off as many lights in your home as possible and try to remove your outside light, too. If there are multiple light sources, it will reduce the chances of successfully zapping these pests to death.
You can buy bug zappers online and in Home Depot or a hardware store.
2. Orange Oil Spray
Orange oil is such a good termite killer that it is highly recommended by professionals. The reason that this spray works so well is that there is a compound in the spray which will kill the termite. This compound is what gives oranges and citrus fruits their vibrant smells.
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What you’ll need to do is the following:
- Purchase some orange oil
- Add the orange oil into a spray bottle.
Now, you’ll want to spray any termites you see as well as any areas where you see termite activity. If you know that termites have already lost their wings and are taking up space in your home, you’ll be able to spray these highly trafficked areas with orange oil.
Many people will also apply this oil to furniture, and even drill holes in the wall where they know termites are active and pour the orange oil into the holes.
3. Take Drastic Action Outdoors
Termites don’t fly for long, and if they have wings, you need to hope that they don’t decide that your home will be their colony. But there is only so much that you can do to ensure that termites won’t take up residence in your home.
Since these pests are drawn to wood, you can do a lot of different things outside of the home to curb the risk of them making your home as their own:
- Remove any mulch outside of the home and only use cedar mulch.
- Remove any tree stumps or other wood around the outside of the home.
- Flooring the soil of landscaping has been shown to kill termites.
Nematodes can also be introduced outside, which will eat termites. Nematodes will be able to eat through an entire colony of termites in no time at all. This will exterminate the entire colony.
If you notice wings on the windowsill or on the floor, this means that the termites did mate and they’ve likely picked your home to make a colony. The best course of action this early on is to call in a professional to kill the new colony before they cause any major damage.
Similar information with EcoTek Termite and Pest Control of Manassas