As a property owner, there’s a lot of maintenance to keep up with, and a lot can go wrong unexpectedly. One of the threats you might not think about much is flying termites.
No one wants to deal with insects or the costly damage they can cause to your house or business. You might be able to ignore certain insects or treat a problem with pesticides you purchase in stores. But when it comes to a termite infestation, you can’t ignore them because they can cause extensive, expensive damage.
Termites don’t always have wings to fly, but it’s a big cause for concern when they do. Continue reading for a helpful guide that will teach you about winged termites, their threat to your property, and how you can get rid of them.
What Are Flying Termites?
Flying termites are not a separate species of insect or termite; they are a part of the termite life cycle and have an important role to play.
Flying termites can grow up as termite workers, soldiers, or reproductives, also known as alates, swarmers, or flying termites. These roles contribute to the termite colony in different ways. Workers focus on digging tunnels, soldiers provide protection, and flying termites reproduce.
Flying termites will leave the area they grew up in to find a new nesting spot. Once they find the right site to colonize, the termites fly to it and then reproduce quickly. The fact that flying termites eat wood, makes flying termites a property owner’s worst nightmare.
If you see swarmers in or around your property, it signifies that termites are interested in infesting your property or might have already built a nest nearby. Either way, taking action right away is key. With a simple termite inspection, you could avoid a terrible termite infestation that can wreak havoc on your house or business.
How To Identify Flying Termites
There are similarities and differences between flying termites and soldier or worker stage termites. All termites, including swarmers, have a thick body. They are usually a shade of brown, but flying termites may be dark brown.
The defining feature of a flying termite is its wings. It will have two sets of light brown or gray wings (in other words, four wings) that are translucent and all the same length and shape. Flying termites usually measure about ¼-inch to ½-inch long and have two short antennae that stick out straight.
Differences Between Flying Termites and Flying Ants
Some people might get confused when they see a flying termite, thinking it is a flying ant. But there are some key differences between these two very different insects.
Flying ants have a waist that’s shaped like an hourglass because it is pinched in the middle, while termites will have a thick waist.
Another thing to look for is the shape of the antennae. Flying ants do not have straight antennae.
Even though both of these insects have two sets of wings, a flying ant’s wings won’t all be the same length because two will be larger than the others. As mentioned above, all four of a flying termite’s wings will be the same size. It is not always easy to differentiate between these two species which is another reason why a professional termite inspection is crucial.
Where There’s One Flying Termite, There Are Likely Many
Remember that if you see one flying termite, there will likely be several more hiding or flying nearby. Although you might not think much of a single flying termite, you should assume there are others.
Normally termites swarm in order to find new areas to colonize, so there will be many of them searching for a new place they can call home. If you don’t want them to take over your property and incur extensive wood damage, you’ll need to take steps to eliminate an active infestation as soon as possible.
What To Do Once You’ve Found A Termite Infestation
If you have found evidence of termite activity or possible termite damage on your property, don’t panic. The smartest thing to do is call a professional right away. They can perform a termite inspection to determine whether or not you have a full infestation. If termite removal is needed, a termite inspector is equipped to get the job done right, so you won’t need to worry about extensive damage.
What if you want to hold off on calling in the pros and take a DIY approach? You can certainly do that, but it might be a challenge, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
Keep the following few tips in mind so you can more easily recognize the signs of termites present in your building:
- Check for hollow wood: Termites are wood destroying organisms that tend to nest. Common signs of new colonies include small holes or cracks in a building’s structure. In order to detect termite activity, knocking or tapping on the building’s wood throughout your house or business might help determine if you have soft interior portions that could indicate a termite problem. Because termites consume wood, they can cause it to sound hollow.
- Check for discarded wings: A swarmer winged termite will shed their wings after taking flight. Termites shed their wings so you might notice the discarded wings inside or outside your property. If you find a pile of wings, it could be a definite sign that a new colony has been established nearby.
- Check for maze-like tunnels: When winged termites live in wood and use it for food, they make mud tubes or tunnels in it. You might notice a maze-like pattern in wood floors, support beams, furniture, etc., if you have a termite infestation.
Termite Inspection & Termite Control With Budget Brothers Termite & Pest
Identifying termites can be tricky, particularly if you don’t understand what they look like at different stages in their life cycle and in their various roles. When it comes to termites, it’s wise to take their presence seriously in order to protect your house or small business.
The experts at Budget Brothers Termite & Pest can accurately identify termites during a termite inspection. We can also provide termite elimination services as well as a wide variety of pest control services if we find any of these destructive insects. Contact us today if you have any questions or concerns about termites or if you want to schedule an inspection.