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What are flying termites?

November 15th, 2017

If you see flying insects near your home, you might think they are flying termites. In Arizona, you should have a termite inspection to see if you have flying termites making a colony in your home. Do not panic if you think they are in your home. It usually takes a long time (years) for them to damage buildings on your property. There are two types of termites that Arizona residents should be aware of and two termiticides we recommend.

Termite Colony Swarms and Factors that Cause Them

After rainfalls, (during the rainy season that runs from July to September,) desert subterranean flying termites are most likely to swarm at night. They need the moist soil to ensure a chance of survival and to form a new colony. Drywood termite colonies release their first flying termite swarm around the time the colony is four years old. September and October are the months when this flying termite swarming activity occurs. Swarming occurs on warm days that are about 80 degrees or warmer.

The peak of a swarm happens a short time after the temperature rises suddenly. Usually, there are dozens of flying termites swarming, but numbers could climb into the hundreds. Termites that swarm at night go toward lights.

Identifying Drywood and Subterranean Termites

Drywood termites live in and infest wood that does not touch the ground. This type of termite is easy to identify, but their infestation is difficult to see. These flying termites enter the home by swarming. You can find them around doors and windows. Their waste looks like sawdust and you will find it near kick out holes in wood.

Subterranean termites are smaller by about one-half inch than drywood termites. They live in contact with soil so that they have a place to find moisture.  Mud tubes on, or near your home means that subterranean termites are moving in. The mud tubes are made from soil or wood particles, fecal matter, and saliva.


Treatment for a flying termite infestation involves one of two chemicals. DuPont Alitriset or Termidor.

The first termiticide, DuPont Altriset is a “green” treatment approved by people who want to keep the environment from harm. DuPont Altriset is so safe to use around humans, that there are no OSHA safety requirements for it.

It promises to get rid of flying termites infestation within three months and even though it is green, it is powerful. It protects your home for up to five years. Studies show that flying termites eating stops within hours when treating with DuPont Alitriset.

Termidor is a powerful termiticide only for professionals. Exterminators must go through certification and have the proper equipment to apply it.  Termidor is a non-repellent chemical for control and prevention. Before it was released for use, other pest control methods left property owners with dead termites in the walls. It works by acting like a communicable disease and spreads quickly through a termite colony.

If you suspect you have seen flying termites near your home, contact the pros at Budget Brothers Termite for a complete inspection. Finding flying termites around your house could mean you have a mature colony on your property, or that an infestation is coming to your home.

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