A termite infestation is definitely hard in itself, and a winged termite infestation is definitely harder. Nonetheless, even though dealing with a termite swarm can be frustrating, there are always flying termite prevention treatment options you can go for to handle your termite problem.
So what are the flying termite prevention treatment options you can use? Before anything, be sure that you’ve gotten rid of as many termites as possible before you begin with preventive measures. Once it’s all settled, start with measures such as eliminating outside moisture, sealing gaps, and cleaning your home. You could also place infected items under the sun to eliminate the chances of re-infestation.
Things You Need to Know About Flying Termites
Before we dive into termite extermination, let’s first discuss what you need to know about flying termites.
How Flying Termites Look
Flying termites usually have a light gold color and six legs. They have two small antennae which are often straight with a slight curve, and they normally have a thick body made of just one part. As for their wings, they have two large, translucent wings on either side of their bodies. They also don’t have a constriction between the abdomen and thorax.
Remember that timely identification is important to implement termite prevention and termite control. People sometimes confuse flying termites with flying ants, and some may dismiss a flying termite as a “white ant” — but please take note that there’s no such thing as a white ant.
Main Types of Termites
There are around 45 different termite species in the US. Each of them falls into one of three main termite types:
- Subterranean termite — Subterranean termites live in the soil and build the largest nests of any insect in the US. Their nests are connected through mud tubes to food sources such as trees and fence posts. Subterranean termite colonies cause the majority of termite damage in the US, so be sure to do some termite protection measures once you spot a subterranean termite infestation. Subterranean termites include the Formosan termite, desert subterranean termite, and arid-land subterranean termite.
- Drywood termite — Drywood termites normally live in wood, such as dead trees, structural timbers, or hardwood floors. They don’t need contact with soil, and their colonies tend to be smaller than subterranean termite colonies. Drywood termites include the western drywood termite, southeastern drywood termite, and desert drywood termite.
- Dampwood termite — Dampwood termites live in wood with high moisture content. Most of them don’t require contact with soil, and they’re rarely found in homes or other man-made structures because the wood in those buildings typically doesn’t have enough moisture. Dampwood termites include the Florida dampwood termite, Nevada dampwood termite, and Pacific dampwood termite.
Learn more: Drywood Termite VS Subterranean Termite: Everything You Need To Know
Which Termites Fly
It’s important to remember that termites don’t fall into the category of flying insects because only a small set of them can fly, and only for a short period of time before they lose their wings.
A termite colony is divided into groups called castes. Each one has a specific role in the colony:
- Termite king and queen
- Worker termite(s)
- Alates/Flying termites
Only the alates can fly as they’re the only ones with wings. They’re also the only ones who are sexually developed, or reproductive termites, and are the future kings and queens of the next season’s colonies. Their flying patterns are called swarms, which is why a flying termite is also commonly called a swarming termite or a termite swarmer.
Flying Termite vs. Flying Ant
A flying termite is usually mistaken for a flying ant because they appear similar in size, shape, and color at first glance. However, they do have some notable differences.
While it’s totally common for people to confuse these two flying insects, we prepared this quick guide to help you differentiate the two:
- Waist: Ants’ waists have a pinched appearance between the abdomen and thorax. Termites, on the other hand, have bodies that appear straight throughout.
- Color: Ants have a dark color, while termites usually have a light beige or golden color with translucent, veiny wings.
- Size: Flying termites’ bodies are usually bigger than the flying ants’ by around 2 to 3 mm and are made of only the head and the body. The ants’ bodies are divided into three parts: head, body, and tail.
- Antennae: Flying ants’ antennae tend to be bent in the middle, while flying termites’ antennae look like springs that can extend straight.
- Wings: Flying ants’ wings have unequal lengths that layer upon one another. On the other hand, flying termites’ wings are symmetrical.
To learn more about the difference between flying termites and flying ants, read this blog post.
Attraction to Light
Termites are attracted to all sources of light. They’re specifically attracted to straight lighting, and they’ll usually come into a home and fly down through a downlight.
To deal with this situation, turn off all your lights — including outside lighting — and open all your doors and windows. Without any light around, the termites should fly out of your home.
Indications of Flying Termites
You may not see flying termites in and around your home, but it’s possible that your home has already fallen prey to a termite colony. Work on termite treatment and pest control if you notice any of the following signs of termite damage:
- Your carpets have holes.
- You find cracked paint or wood.
- Your walls have holes and cavities.
- You find termite droppings.
- Your ceilings seem to be showing signs of water damage.
- You find some mud concentrations on your exterior walls and wooden beams.
- Your laminated floors have blisters.
Dealing With Flying Termites at Home
Dealing with a termite infestation isn’t a simple one- or two-step procedure. There are also dos and don’ts that you have to take note of to effectively deal with this kind of insect infestation.
- Identify them properly
Be sure to get their identification right because what you’re dealing with will also define how you’ll deal with it. Take a closer look at the insects you’re dealing with to make sure that they’re actually flying termites.
- Check the weather
Flying termites love a pleasant night because warm and moist conditions encourage them to spread their wings and search for a new area to colonize.
- Don’t just spray them
It’s tempting to simply spray repellent termiticide, but it won’t essentially stop termite activity. Yes, the spray will kill them, but you won’t kill the termites that are causing the damage from their old colony, or the new colony that they’re planning to create.
- Don’t ignore them
It’s easy to think that something as small as a termite won’t cause any damage, but think again! They can do a lot of damage in your home, so if you spot a flying termite, consider it a major problem. Destroy that colony before they destroy your home.
- Don’t block their exit paths
When you spot where they’re coming from, don’t block the holes that they use to escape. If you block the holes, they’ll just make new ones — thus causing more damage to your home.
Treatment Options to Prevent Flying Termites
Dealing with swarmer termites is more than just buying a termite killer like a liquid termiticide. You must consider a termite treatment option that doesn’t only kill the ones in your home, but also guarantees that no other colony will come back. Also, be sure to get rid of them first before you work on prevention. Have termite bait or bait trap like Sentricon and have a strategic bait station. You could also call a pest management professional for termite inspection and fumigation.
Once that’s all settled, you can already work your way to these flying termite prevention treatment options.
- Eliminating outside moisture
Termites are attracted to sources of water, so be sure to clean up standing water, especially after the rain. Get rid of excess moisture in your home to keep termites away. You could also invest in a dehumidifier and switch on the air conditioner during the summer to maintain a cool temperature in the house and remove any excess moisture from the air inside the home.
- Sealing gaps and cracks
Termites can easily fit through small gaps in your walls and foundation. Seal those gaps and cracks with caulk, spray foam, or weatherstripping.
- Fixing leaks
Notice any decay or leaks in your home as decayed roofs and moisture-filled walls are attractive hosts for termites. Fix and seal leakages in your home and have regular inspections especially in gloomy corners of your home. A leakage in the basement can be attractive to termites because it’s closer to the ground.
- Decluttering the house
Remember that cardboard, old magazines, and newspapers can provide a great environment for termites. If a part of your house has been attacked by termites, don’t take the items, including the furniture, in that room to other parts of your house.
- Distancing soil and wood
Be sure that there’s some space between soil and wood in your home, especially if you have a garden. Professionals recommend an 18-inch distance. Maintaining distance between soil and wood discourages a termite attack on the foundation of your home as there’s a huge crawl space between them. Go for cement or stones to separate soil from the wooden area in your home.
- Moving wood away from walls
Don’t have wood up against your wall if you have any wood outside. Once termites get into the wood, they’ll eventually head to your home.
- Placing infested items under the sun
When you find that termites are damaging a piece of furniture, place it under the sun for at least three consecutive days. Termites can’t stand the heat, and if you keep the infested item under the sun long enough, the heat will kill the termites and remove moisture from the furniture. This will also prevent the chances of re-infestation. We also recommend using a termite spray before you bring the furniture back into the house. You could also do the same thing with pieces of furniture that were probably not affected, just to be sure.
- Calling a pest control company
The DIY termite control tips we mentioned are already effective on their own, but it’s always best to call a pest control company to handle the situation and give you peace of mind.
Hiring Midway Pest Management for Flying Termite Prevention
There’s nothing like the peace of mind that Midway Pest Management can bring. Whether it’s a termite infestation, a carpenter ant infestation, or bed bugs, Midway Pest Management can help.
When it comes to termite control, Midway Pest Management’s state-certified commercial pest control technicians will perform a preliminary termite inspection of the structure so they could identify the presence of active termites. They’ll also be able to spot termite-related damage, old or abandoned termite shelter tubes, and staining that indicates active termites or previously active termites.
The team will recommend termite treatment based upon findings. If they don’t spot termites, prevention services are available as preventative treatments.
Call Midway Pest Management now to get a quote!