Mosquitoes flying around

How To Get Rid of Flying Termites

July 04, 2022

By Hawx Pest Control

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.

Can termites fly?

Not all termites can fly, but some do. Sexually mature termites with wings can fly for a short period of time in order to breed and start new colonies away from the original nest. 

What are flying termites?

Flying termites are the swarmers of the termite family. Not all termites have wings. Those that do have wings are tasked with the responsibility of reproducing and starting new colonies.

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. At her peak, 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.

swarm of flying termites on a yellow background

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
  •  Four wings of equal size

If these descriptors match the bugs in your house, it’s definitely time to take action. Flying termites can indicate that a mature 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 of equal size and shape
  • Hollowed-out wood
  • Appearance of water damage
  • Creaking floors
  • Loose tiles
  • Drywall pellets or piles of shavings
  • Mud tubes

flying termites on a white wall

Are flying termites mistaken for other insects?

Flying termites are often mistaken for other flying insects. Here are a few insects you might confuse for flying termites:

  • Carpenter Ants: Carpenter ants have similar size, shape, and color to flying termites, but the differences become more obvious when you look at them closely.
  • Waist: Flying termites have straight, box-like bodies. Flying carpenter ants have a pinched waist.
  • Antennae: Flying termites have straight antennae, while carpenter ants have antennae bent in an elbow shape.
  • Wings: Flying termites have long, slender symmetrical wings. Carpenter ants’ wings are more like layered butterfly wings that aren’t equally long. 
  • Acrobat Ants: Sometimes thought to be flying termites, these ants nest in moist wood and hollow walls, pushing refuse out of their tunnels, which can be mistaken as a sign of termites. 
  • Carpenter Bees: Both have dark bodies and a thick-waisted appearance, but the bees have yellow markings on their upper back side. Carpenter bees’ nests are often mistaken for termite kick-out holes, which are actually much smaller than a carpenter bee’s tunneling hole. 
  • Powderpost beetles: Like termites, these beetles chew small holes in pieces of wood. While powderpost beetles use the holes to exit their nest and leave a fine powder beneath or within the hole, flying termites use the holes they’ve tunneled to push out feces.   

Can flying termites cause damage? Are they harmful to wood like other termites?

Flying termites don’t bore holes into wood or cause structural damage while they have wings. However, once they shed those wings and establish a colony, these termites can break down wood in your home and cause extensive damage.

Should I worry about flying termites?

Seeing flying termites in or around your home is a warning sign that a nest is nearby, which is a cause for concern. These insects create nesting colonies that produce hundreds of offspring when the conditions are right, and a termite infestation can cause significant damage to a home within just a couple of years.

How do you prevent flying termites?

Flying termites are a problem you’ll want to take care of as soon as possible, but there are ways to prevent these critters from infiltrating your home in the first place. To keep flying termites from entering your home, try these tips:

  • Keep mulch and piles of wood away from your house. 
  • Keep up with home repairs, especially plumbing leaks and rotting wood.
  • Don’t leave outdoor lights on unless necessary, as they can attract flying termites. 
  • Seal up cracks and holes in your house’s exterior with caulk.

Call a pest control professional for a thorough inspection and treatment plan if you see signs of flying termites in or around your house.  

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 kills flying termites?

Termite infestations are a serious problem that could severely affect the stability of your home. While there are DIY removal methods out there, the best option is to call a professional pest removal company with experience with termites and can provide expert care to address your termite 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 schedule an inspection with a pest control professional to determine that the insects are, in fact, termites. When you use Hawx, our service providers can install in-depth defense lines around the property that will keep termites out and prevent existing colonies from thriving. 

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