How To Identify And Get Rid Of Flying Termites

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How to deal with winged termites.

With rains and colder weather hitting Australia this winter, you may find your property swarming with flying termites. And, as you know, seeing termites in or around your property isn’t a good thing. It may mean that somewhere near your property, or worse – on your property, there is an ongoing termite infestation.

The damage termites can inflict on your property is huge, and can sometimes exceed tens of thousands of dollars to be fixed.

As termites can swarm in such weather, let’s take a look what flying termites really are, and how you can protect your home from an infestation.


What are Flying Termites

When you initially notice a flying termite, it can easily be mistaken for a flying ant and dismissed. Of course, flying ants are nothing more than a nuisance bug, and can’t cause much of a problem.

Flying termites are normal termites. They are the reproductive stage of termites. Flying male and female termites emerge from already existing colonies to, well, reproduce.

If you find multiple flying termites in your home, or around your property, this may indicate a going-on infestation in, or around your property.

In order to protect your property, you should be able to differentiate flying termites from flying ants. The differences are small, but here are some key points:

  • Winged ants have a constricted waist while flying termites have a straight-sided waist.
  • The termites have four wings that are of equal size.
  • The antennae of the winged ants are bend at 90 degrees, while the flying termites have straight antennae.

If you come across a winged termite-resembling creature we suggest you study it carefully and determine the species of the creature.


How to Recognise a Flying Termite

How the winged termite is different from the flying ant.

Flying termites have an elongated body. Depending on the species flying termites can reach anywhere from half a centimetre to near a centimetre in length.

Also known as alates, flying termites can range in colour from light to dark brown. The darker colours allow the pest to retain water. This is the reason why they are able to leave the colony and reproduce outside.

As we already mentioned, alates are equipped with four, equal-length wings.

When do Termites Fly?

Most alates swarm after big rains, and in warmer weather. Considering Australian winter isn’t famous for its harsh winters, you may see some swarmers looking for warmth inside your home.

When termites begin flying, they are basically looking for a new place to begin their next colony.


Do I Have an Infestation if I See Alates in my Home?

Can’t be said for sure, but your property may still be safe. Alates appear after a colony is around three to five years old, which means that it’s a big one. However, the flying termites can fly from somewhere around your property.

The initial colony may be in a neighbouring property, or somewhere around your home. As the colony has to be well developed in order for it to produce aerates, we suggest you contact a pest controller to inspect your property.

At the least, you will be sure there isn’t an infestation in your home. Or, if there is, you will know you have to get rid of them.


Frequently Asked Questions:

As a pest control company, we often get questions about winged termites. As professionals, we want to clarify that every case of infestation is different, so we suggest contacting your local pest controllers and book an inspection in order to be sure.


Are Flying Termites Harmful to Humans?

While termites don’t pose an immediate threat to humans, these bugs are known to bite and sting. They aren’t toxic, and there are no known cases of termites carrying diseases.

However, there are known cases where people who live in termite infested houses can have asthma attacks. As long as you and your family don’t suffer from asthma, termites can’t affect your health.


How to Proof Your Home from Alates?

Unlike normal termites, alates, or flying termites, are attracted by warmth and light. Homemade DIY methods rarely work. What we suggest is you inspect the seals of your windows, around the doors and the door trims, and of course, the roof. Those are the most likely entry points.

If you have swarms of alates outside your house invest in zappers. Flying termites love light and are easily attracted to zappers. Make sure the zapper is the only light source in proximity and leave it on for the night.


How to Get Rid of Flying Termites

If you’re finding it hard to deal with alates, we suggest you contact professional pest controllers to come and inspect the problem. If there is an ongoing infestation in your home, then you should act fast.

Termites can cause a lot of damage to your home. In some cases, depending on where the infestation is, it can cost upwards of 10,000 AUD to fix the damage.

Because of the nature of the infestation, we do not recommend wasting time with DIY methods. Professionals have their ways neutralising the infestation, which often includes the occupants of the property to leave while the pest control session lasts.

Termites don’t fly for too long. Once they find the suitable place for their next colony, termites shed their wings and begin establishing it. If the pest finds your home suitable, you and your property are in big trouble.

While sealing possible entries will limit the entrance points to your home, if there are termites swarming around your home, they will most likely find their way in.

The Fantastic Pest Controllers suggest that, if you find alates in or around your home, to contact a professional pest controller.


While getting rid of termites is quite a hard thing to do, there are ways to minimise the possibility of an infestation. Whenever there are any doubts about a possible termite infestation we suggest you act fast and deal with the problem as soon as possible.


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