Mosquitoes flying around

How To Get Rid of Flying Termites

July 04, 2022

By Daniel Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS

Termites of any kind can live within and cause damage to your home. If you see any flying termites, it may indicate that a termite colony is already camping out in your house. Learn more about flying termites and how to identify them—so you can address any active termite colonies and prevent any further damage to your wood structures.

What are flying termites?

Flying termites are the swarmers of the termite family. Not all termites have wings. Those that do grow wings early on as adults and are usually tasked with the responsibility of scoping out new places to live and reproducing to fill a new colony. 

A colony begins when a flying male and female pair up. This pair builds an underground nest, which they move into and seal in order to protect them while they mate and their eggs mature. A female termite can lay up to 30,000 eggs a day. The paired flying termites typically become the kings and queens of their new colony once the eggs hatch.

How to spot flying termites

There are some common traits that make flying termites easy to identify from other similar insects (like flying ants, for example). Use the list below to try and identify what type of insect you’re dealing with.

Termites have:

  • Straight antennae
  • Straight waist
  • Equal sized wings

If these descriptors match the bugs in your house, it’s definitely time to take action. Flying termites can indicate that a full termite colony is living within your walls. This infestation could harm the structural integrity of your home, which can lead to safety issues for your family if left unchecked. 

If you can’t get a close look at the bugs inside your home, here are some other signs of a termite infestation: 

  • Maze-like patterns in wood surfaces
  • Droppings (hexagonal pellets that vary in color)
  • Discarded wings
  • Hollowed-out wood
  • Appearance of water damage
  • Creaking floors
  • Loose tiles
  • Drywall pellets or piles of shavings
  • Mud tubes

Are flying termites attracted to light?

Yes, that’s why you’ll often find termites around street lamps or other light sources. Keep in mind that flying termites usually stay close to their original nest because they’re not great at flying. So, if you see termites swarming around a light source, you may be able to find a nearby colony that could be the source of your home infestation.

What to do if you see flying termites in your home

If you think you have flying termites swarming in your home, don’t use a canned insect spray to try and kill them. This won’t work very effectively, and the false security you get from it might allow more damage to continue. 

Instead, the best course of action is to identify that the insects are, in fact, termites, and then schedule an inspection with a pest control professional. These services can install in-depth defense lines around the property that will keep termites out and prevent existing colonies from thriving. 

While you’re waiting for your appointment with a pest control professional, try these tips to help you stay calm and get ahead of the infestation: 

  • Spray solutions like white vinegar or Boric acid to an infected area
  • Plant some rubber mulch around your plants—termites like eating real wood, so the rubber should discourage them
  • Spice up your termite trail with cayenne pepper
  • Break out the essential oils—options for termite treatment include vetiver oil and clove bud
  • Bring affected furniture into the light and let the sun do your work for you
  • Use a fly zapper for airborne termites
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