Most people have heard horror stories about termites causing thousands of dollars in damage to a valuable home or asset. However, few people know the warning signs of a termite infestation. If you notice termites with wings on your property, you may have a serious problem.
How Did I Get Flying Termites?
Male and female reproductive termites, or alates, emerge from established colonies to mate and start new colonies in new locations. A large colony of termites may be nearby if you see a swarm flying near your house. A live infestation may be present if a resident finds multiple alates inside, sees their shed wings near doors and windows, or spots them emerging from the house’s exterior.
How Serious Are Flying Termites?
Termites are notoriously destructive pests. Alates production typically occurs after a colony has been established for three to six years. Workers feeding on wood may cause expensive damage to buildings during this time and for as long as the colony is active.
These termites are in the worker stage, eating the softer inner parts of the wood while leaving the tougher outer layers alone. Years may pass before a building owner discovers mud tubes, cracks, or the collapse of wood due to a termite infestation. Swarms of flying termites should be taken as a warning sign of impending damage to a home.
When a colony of termites swarms, the individuals take to the air. Heavy precipitation and warm, humid weather are the leading causes of swarms. To reproduce, established colonies will swarm when male and female termites develop wings. Fertilized termites will then shed their wings after mating flights and begin establishing new colonies. The presence of winged termites inside a house signifies a well-developed colony.
Possibly Resemble Ants
While flying termites resemble winged ants, they have distinct differences in appearance. The waist of ants is constricted, whereas the waist of termites is more straight-sided. Termites have four equal-sized wings. Ant antennae bend at 90-degree angles, whereas termite antennae are straight.
Facts About Flying Termites
- There’s a lot more to flying termites than you might think!
- Termites with wings are relatively slow. When a flying ant competes with a flying termite, the termite always loses.
- Some regions of the world use termites for their high protein content and human consumption.
- After their first flight, flying termites lose their wings.
- About one in a thousand flying termites will successfully mate and start a new colony.
How To Reduce the Risk from Termite Swarms
Infestations of termites can be caused by the buildup of moisture in wood, which can occur when a tree on your property falls or if a piece of wood comes into contact with the soil. Preventing a termite infestation requires routine checks of your home.
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Call Fullscope Pest Control today for a free termite inspection of your home if you need assistance determining whether or not you have activity. Our technicians are highly trained in the art of termite control, so you can rest assured that they will get the job done right. We want to help keep your home pests-free for as long as possible, so we’ll work with you closely to ensure everything goes smoothly.