Pest Control

Are Flying Termites Seasonal? And 9 Ways To Get Rid Of Them

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As wood house owners you must know about flying termites. They are the worst nightmare of wood house owners and wood furniture owners. But are flying termites seasonal. Let’s find out the answer. 

Are flying termites seasonal

Are flying termites seasonal?

Flying termites are seasonal creatures. You could commonly spot the Flying termites in warmer weather. You can usually spot them in seasons such as in spring and in summer. Having said , termites in general  are usually  active all year round. If you spot any termite swarm , that would literally be an indication of a start of a termite season. 

Termite season would usually be just once a year. However, this will vary depending on the termite species , geographic location and on the seasonality as well.

If I elaborate on the flying termites, you will see them forming a wide array of colors which could also vary depending on the species they belong to. 

Having said that, you could spot them in tan color in general. Flying termites have antennae and two sets of wings which would be the same size. Flying termites’ wings would be white and translucent and they give a  veiny appearance for the plants. 

Flying Termites generally swarm in the early rainy days of spring once there is warmer weather. Once the environmental conditions get warmer they use that as a signal to start swarming.

Further they use it to synchronize with the rest of other termite colonies as well. That will reduce any potential of having an inbreeding.

Further , the termite swarming time could also vary  depending on the termite species. However, if we consider the majority of subterranean termites, they will usually swarm during the day. On the other hand, Formosan termites would swarm at night. Termites are not good flyers generally. Hence the termite swarms will not last for too long. 

They would usually depend on the wind to assist them with carrying them. Hence you can commonly spot them near their nests. Besides, lighting sources such as streetlamps and windows would be some of their preferred spots to hang around the warmer seasons.

Flying termite’s lifespan

Flying termites would start their life span from eggs. However, those eggs are unique to them as they go through an incomplete metamorphosis along with egg, nymph and adult stages

Flying termites’ nymphs are more like small adults which will have molts during their growth. Depending on the Flying termite’s species, their eggs may consist of four molting stages. However, nymphs will go through three stages.

Nymphs will start molting into workers at first. In the meantime, some worker termite will molt into soldiers for swarmer’s. 

it would be the termite workers responsibility to build the colony and make the repairs. Soldier termites are sterile, and they would be responsible for protecting the termite colonies. Further swarmers and reproductive  will mainly look into mating. After they complete reproduction, they will become termite king and termite queen.

It would take several months for a nymph to molt into an adult. However, it could also change depending on the food sources which they can access and on temperatures. 

Further the size of the colony will also affect this. worker termites will fulfill the dietary requirements of the nymphs as they cannot feed on their own. 

Besides, the rest of the termites in the nest count on the worker termites for foraging and repairing the nest. They pheromone through the entire colony so that only a selected set of termites can be queens. When the termite colony is in the early stage, the queen termite will lay about 10-20 eggs. 

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With that being said, once the colony matures, the queen termite can lay eggs up to 100 daily. When it comes to the king, it will keep mating with the queen. If it cannot find the queen termite, it will look for a replacement queen using pheromones .

Why are flying termites in my house

You can spot the flying termites at your house usually in seasons like spring summer. Further you can spot them in your house during periods of humidity as well. 

You will see swarms of termites suddenly in your home when there is an increase in the temperature outside. The temperature rise convinces the termites to leave the nests. Further if there are flying termites hanging around your house, it could be an indication for you to indicate that there is a larger termite colony living closer to your home.

Why do flying termites come out at night?

Flying termites are attractive towards light. Hence, they come out at night. You could commonly find them around the streetlamps and swarming around those areas in the night. Flying termites are social insects and not household pests. This literally means they will thrive in groups.

In termite colonies, as explained in the above there are specific duties assigned for each termite type.

Out of this, male and female reproduction will start swarming when they have to leave the colony.

As aforesaid you can commonly spot the Flying termites in the night. Chances are that you will see them in huddles near streetlights or even closer to the lights which are in the backyard or on the porch. Flying termites are fond of warmer conditions and humidity at night. Further it is said that the termites’ swarms could take place after a heavy rainfall particularly during summer.

When the reproductive swarmer’s finish paring off, they will go in search of new places to build the colonies. 

Hence, if you come across any termite swarm closer to your home, you need to immediately switch off the lights so that your house will be less attractive for them. Further ensure that you have to shut the windows properly too. To sum up, flying termites will come at night due to the humidity levels and warmer temperatures.

Are flying termites attracted to light?

Light attracts the Flying termites.Hence why you can commonly spot them swarming around the light sources such as around the streetlights, lights in your backyard porch etc. 

Further you can spot them around the motion lights and on the lights reflected from inside as well. Moreover you can spot the Flying termites around utility lights in hurdles too. The attraction of the Flying termites to light is due to a process called Phototaxis. Literally the Flying termites have a positive impact on this process. Hence, they are naturally attracted to light.

What attracts flying termites?

Light attracts the flying termites as aforesaid. Besides the humidity levels also attract the Flying termites. 

Further if there is a temperature increase, it would make them leave the colony they live in and land in some other place.

Is Flying termite a problem

Yes they can be a trouble.Flying termites are one of the most damaging insects’ which could create trouble for your wooden structures. They could further damage your properties which are made of cellulose. They will end up bending and creating blisters in your wooden structures.  

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If you come across a handful of Flying termites or few discarded wings it does not really mean that you are experiencing a severe termite infestation. 

With that being said, there is a high probability that there are few termite colonies living around your home. Chances are that some of them are living in your home. 

However, they will not create a great damage for you as it is very likely that they will end up perishing there. However, I suggest you contact a pest control service and get that confirmed. Hence whenever you come across a handful of Flying termites, you do not have to worry or panic as it is very unlikely that they will cause great damage for you. 

However, if you come across a situation like that, , you only need to ascertain whether there is any active termite colony present closer to your home only.

How long do they live?

Worker termites can live up to one to two years.

Besides if we consider the queen termites, they can survive more than a decade given that they get optimal conditions to thrive.

How to get rid of flying termites

1. Nematodes

These parasitic worms prefer to feed on Flying termites.  You can purchase them online or in special stores as well. You can simply release them in the suspected areas where you assume the Flying termites will be. 

Then that will allow the worms to eliminate the whole of Flying termites in your area. Nematodes can even reproduce and look for more Flying termites. This is a quite productive  way of getting rid of the Flying termites.

2. Vinegar

Vinegar is a useful material which you can find in our household. You can use them as a cleanser. Besides, you can use them to kill the Flying termites as well. All you need to do is to mix half of a cup of it with lemon juice from two lemons. 

That will act as a perfect termite killer. You can use it as a spray once you put it in a spray bottle and spray at the spots where the Flying termites would be available. Once they get in contact with the solution, they will die.

3. Borates

You can commonly find them being sold as borax powder which would be fatal for the termites. You can simply sprinkle them on the termites’ affected areas. Alternatively, you can mix it with water and use it as a spray. Keep applying them until you get rid of them completely.

4. Sunlight

Flying termites are not fond of sunlight. Instead, they hate it. To be precise the exposure for sunlight will kill the Flying termites. The sunlight and heat would be unhealthy for the Flying termites. 

As such if you are wondering of a way to get rid of the Flying termites who have infested your furniture, you can simply expose them under the intense sunlight. If you are doing this in summer, you can get rid of them quite quickly.

5. Orange oil

Orange oil consists of “d limonene”, and it is something which could create a deadly impact on the plants. It is obtained from the orange peels. You can easily acquire them either from home improvement stores or from garden stores. 

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Orange oil will result in the exoskeleton of termites to dissolve. Since, it  will make them lose the moisture and proteins, it would result in the death of the Flying termites. Just as in the above methods, you have to spray the oil on the affected areas. It is a good way of keeping them away from your home whether you already have them or not.

6. Wet cardboard

Flying termites are fond of two things mainly. They are moisture and cellulose. So, you can simply place a piece of cardboard with water . It will be more like a buffet for the Flying termites. If you think, there are active Flying termites present, it will make them come there and once you see they have come, you can simply take them away and kill them. 

Ensure that you keep doing it, until you can get away with the Flying termites entirely.

7. Bug Zappers

Flying termites are attracted to light Hence, they will be attracted to the bug zapper’s light just like the rest of other insects. They will electrocute them. However, when you do this, ensure that you switch off all the lights so that you can get the best results of this method.

8. Termite bait stations

You can purchase a termite bait station and locate in a spot as per the instructions on that. This is something  which you can practice on  a long-term basis. The attractants they have will convince them to come there. 

However, keep in mind that these are not safe for the pets.Further you need to be cautious when you have kids around as chances are that they may tend to eat them.

9. Termiticides

You can easily purchase the termiticides from any stores, they will come in so many different forms and all of them include a foaming treatment. You can use these within walls, under the bathtubs etc. This is also an effective method of getting rid of the Flying termites. Besides, you can apply a traditional termiticide  as a barrier treatment too. In addition to Flying termites, these termiticides could be fatal for some other insects as well.

Conclusion 

However, if you think there is a severe Flying termites’ infestation, you may quickly get in touch with the exterminators and get their assistance to overcome this issue. Unless it would result in greater damage to your properties. Further it will be costly for you to get them repaired as the pest control service charges are on the high side usually.

Usually, an average homeowner will find it difficult to overcome a Flying termite’s infestation if it has been spread on a severe level. The best thing you could do on such occasions is to consult a pest control professional. Pest control services will use chemicals and drilling to overcome this problem. Further they may also fumigate your house.  

Besides, you should make sure that you are practicing preventive measures also to overcome the Flying termite’s menace. To do that, I suggest you conduct regular Flying termites inspections at your home. Ensure that you keep the excess moisture away  also by making sure that there is proper ventilation in your home. Fix whatever the poor drains you can find at your home.

Credit to : Fresh Home 24

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I'm Dr. Chamika and I'm a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. Our highly qualified team is trying to educate you in various aspects of the day to day life in many ways. Their mission is to help others to enjoy their life to the fullest.