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Do Termites Fly?

First, there was the unexpected whisper of wings on your arm, but it was clearly too small to be a bat. Next, a few dropped wings appeared near the window sill, but they don’t look like fly or bee wings. Termites may not be the first flying pest to come to mind. However, some termites can fly, and their flight may be bad news for you and your home. Below, find out what you need to know about termite flight and why you should contact a professional pest control and extermination provider, like Eliminate ‘Em, today.

Which Termites Fly?

While there are many types of termites, most of these pests are wingless and can’t fly. These termites are primarily responsible for building nests and finding food, which leads to tubes in your yard. However, the reproductive members of the colony, typically called alates or swarmers, do have wings and can fly, although they typically do not fly long distances. During certain times of year, these reproductive termites leave their original colonies to find mates and begin new colonies. Once they find mates and desirable locations for their new homes, they actually shed their wings.

Will I See Termites Fly?

Reproductive termites typically move in sizable groups. Often looking like a cloud, these groups of swarmers can be very visible. Here are some interesting facts about termite flight.

  1. Their departure can appear almost synchronized, which is designed to make them more appealing to potential mates and more likely to find one to help grow the colony.
  2. Flying together is also a way to protect themselves and ensure the survival of the colony.
  3. Spring and early summer are often when termite swarms may appear (depending on species and the local climate).
  4. They are more likely to swarm during warmer evenings when the humidity is higher.
  5. Light may attract them, so you may see them near street lights or well-lit windows into homes.
  6. Most termites don’t fly far or for very long.

Why Are Termites that Fly a Problem?

Since termite flight is tied to reproduction, seeing flying termites or signs of them, such as piles of discarded wings near windows, on the ground, or in the proximity of other light sources, means that there is a termite colony near by and/or that one or more is in the process of being established. For alates to even leave the nest, the original nest has to be mature enough. Since most termites can’t fly far, that original nest may be close by.

Even if you aren’t certain that your wing identification is accurate, calling a termite exterminator is wise. In fact, these wings or seeing a swarm may be one of the only signs of termite presence that you may see, because mud tubes or other damage may be associated with other pests or general wear and tear. Finding wings early may also mean identifying a problem before the termites fully infest the home. Without preventative maintenance, like routine inspections, or early action against their intrusion, termites can cause significant property damage with high repair costs.

Termite honeymooners can quickly become home invaders. If you see one or more flying termites or otherwise suspect a termite problem or have any questions about prevention services or any pest or wildlife control needs, contact Eliminate ‘Em today.