A flying termite infestation at home is really one of the biggest nuisances any homeowner can have. While it’s easy to go to the store and get the most effective termite killer you can find, you can’t help but worry if the ingredients that it has are safe to have at home. Due to this concern, you may just consider making a natural termite killer when your home has a flying termites infestation.
So how do you naturally kill flying termites without chemicals? You could create a DIY termite trap that simply involves a box and some water, or you could go for rubber mulch, cedar mulch, or orange oil. Other methods to kill these pests are boric acid, diatomaceous earth, and beneficial nematodes.
Identifying a Flying Termite
Flying Termite vs. Flying Ant
Sometimes, people would confuse a winged termite with a flying ant — and we don’t blame them at all. These two species have some similar-looking features that can easily confuse us, but don’t worry. We’ve prepared a quick guide to help you differentiate the two flying insects.
While flying termites and flying ants are both pests, remember that they differ in terms of physical appearance and purpose. Flying ants have elbowed antennae, pinched waists, and hind wings smaller than their front wings. Their colors range from black, brown, to a reddish shade. Flying ants feed on seeds, nectar, other insects, and food debris in a home. These pests are usually found nesting in wet, damp, or rotting wood, but you may also find them in dry wood.
As for termites, there are two types: the worker termite and the termite swarmer. The worker termites usually have a creamy color. You’ll mostly find them when mud-foraging tubes or infested wood has opened. The swarmers, on the other hand, are reproductive. They are usually dark brown or black.
Some termites have wings, but they eventually lose those termite wings after they mate. An insect such as a termite generally has straight antennae, wide bodies without pinched waists, and wings with equal length. They feed on paper, wood, and cellulose-based products.
Flying ants and flying termites both swarm as part of their mating process.
Read more in our blog post: Flying Ants VS Termites: What’s the Difference
What They Are and How They Look
Flying or swarming termites are exactly what their name suggests — termites that have wings. However, despite their simple and obvious description, these insects are a huge nuisance.
Remember that a flying termite is not a different termite species. They’re better classified as a “category” or “division” of the termite caste system in a termite colony.
Flying termites have two pairs of gray to white wings and have a black body. A flying termite can measure from 0.25″ up to 0.375″ depending on the species. When it comes to color, many of them are essentially light with whitish or grayish wingspans. Flying termites are usually a bit darker in color compared to worker termites. As for termite larvae, they’re very small and have soft, white bodies.
In general, termites have a pair of straight beaded antennae, no segmented abdomen, and six legs.
When They Swarm
In order to establish proper pest control, we must first understand when termites swarm.
Termites usually swarm during early spring, and they start mating when temperatures pick up and most especially after the rain. Flying termites will fly toward strong and warm light sources.
When it comes to specific species, take note that the subterranean termite swarms only during the day, and the Formosan termite swarms only at night.
Overall, since their time to swarm depends on the termite species, there’s no definite answer on when they swarm.
Signs You Have Flying Termites in Your Home
One of the first steps to termite control is confirming that you do have flying termites in your home.
1. You spot blisters in wooden flooring
Blisters or areas within a wooden flooring usually mean there are termites below the surface. This could also mean that termites stay deep inside wooden surfaces.
2. You see damage or hollowed wood
When you see damaged or hollowed wood, you could be certain that it’s actually infested wood caused by termite damage. This can be the effect of termites that chew through the wood and make a long hollow cavity within it.
Termites search for cellulose in wood, which may explain why this happens to wooden items in your home. After a while, this type of cavities may weaken the wood.
3. You find mud tubes
Mud tubes may be present near a termite food source like a shed, a tree, or near a place where the ground surface meets the home.
An explanation for this is the fact that subterranean termites usually live underground and make their way up to look for any wooden structure.
4. There’s proof of a swarm
Fallen or broken wings are a sign that there’s a swarm nearby. You may expect these termite wings at any access point to the property including doors and windows.
5. You find drywood termite droppings
A drywood termite is classified as a nonflying termite that lives inside the wood. When drywood termites infest wood, they slowly eat through it and form a tunnel. This then leads to the formation of galleries that they maintain. They maintain these galleries by creating small holes through which they pass out their excrement.
Their excrement is wood, and it leads to the formation of heaps of pellets that look like coffee grounds or sawdust. This is a sign that there’s drywood termite infestation nearby.
6. You notice peeling paint
When these pests damage some drywall, moisture enters the space between the surface and the paint, causing the paint to bubble or peel. While there are other reasons for the paint to peel, if you see it with the other signs, there may be a termite infestation in your home.
DIY Ways to Get Rid of Flying Termites
As a homeowner, you likely prefer termite treatment or termite baiting without any chemicals. Don’t worry, a store-bought termiticide isn’t the only solution to your termite problem. You could go for termite bait or termite repellent that you can make on your own.
1. DIY termite trap
This method can help prevent future flying termites from emerging. It also provides termites with cellulose.
- Water (1 gallon)
- Collapse the box and cut it into a few large pieces.
- Stack the cardboard pieces on top of each other.
- Position the stack of boxes outdoors.
- Slowly pour the gallon of water over the cardboard to soak it entirely.
- Termites will then eat the wet cardboard. Once there are enough of them eating the cardboard, exterminate them using a natural bug killer.
2. Rubber mulch
Rubber mulch is made from recycled tire material. You can purchase it at any hardware store.
This method is more of a termite repellent. Since rubber has no cellulose, subterranean termites won’t be attracted to your home or yard as a source of food.
3. Cedar mulch
Subterranean termites hate the colors and resins in this mulch. You may simply use cedar mulch around your home and swap out your organic soil for cedar.
4. Orange oil
Orange oil has been found to be lethal to termites. The citrus scent that we get from oranges comes from a specific compound, and that compound is extremely dangerous to termites.
Pour the oil into a spray bottle and spray the orange oil directly onto any winged termite you see. You can spray it on flying termites, grounded termites, and locations where you suspect termite activity.
Just take note that orange oil only works against drywood termites, not subterranean termites.
5. Boric acid
You’ll find boric acid as a powder. Sprinkle the powder around your home and directly into the soil where you suspect termite activity.
Boric acid will help control and kill flying termites and prevent future ones from coming out. Replace the acid weekly and directly after it rains.
We also suggest sprinkling boric acid around your home for a natural barrier against termites. These locations include around windows, around pet doors, around basement vents, and on your patio or deck.
Just don’t use it on edible or sensitive plants. Keep your children and pets away from boric acid as well.
6. Diatomaceous earth
This method works like bait. Diatomaceous earth can kill termites by penetrating their exoskeleton and dehydrating them. Just sprinkle the powder around areas where you suspect termite activity and wait for them to head to the bait station. Just remember that diatomaceous earth is commonly suggested for pests on the ground, so be a little patient when you’re dealing with flying termites.
7. Beneficial nematodes
Beneficial nematodes are microscopic worms that are like parasites. When a nematode is in the insect’s digestive system, it releases a bacterium that kills the host. Nematodes into the soil near a termite colony may be effective in killing them.
You may also go for the common insect killer — a bug zapper. You could use an ultraviolet bug zapper outdoors or indoors if they’re already inside, but we only recommend this when killing the last few.
Whichever method you choose, remember to always practice safety.
Preventing Termites From Coming Back
Just because you’ve dealt with getting rid of termites doesn’t mean they won’t come back — unless, of course, you do some preventive measures.
- Check for leaks in your home — Subterranean termites love moisture, so keep your home dry to keep them at bay.
- Fill in cracks and crevices — Be sure to seal any unnecessary openings in your home and seal off windows and doors as well.
- Protect your wood — Termites love the cellulose in wood, so be sure not to stack firewood against your house or leave tree stumps outside.
- Clean your home’s pipes and gutters — Termites love it in warm, moist, and dark places, so always clean out pipes and gutters to prevent them from staying there.
- Call a pest control company for termite inspection — We understand that a flying termite problem can sometimes be too much to handle. Don’t hesitate to get regular termite inspections from professionals.
Getting Help From Midway Pest Management
Midway Pest Management does more than just spot treatment. During their initial service visit, they already set a goal of eliminating active common household dwelling bugs inside and outside your home. They value amazing customer service experience, the use of high-quality pest-eliminating products, knowledgeable technicians, knowledgeable office staff, and actual pest control results.
They offer pest control in Lenexa, Overland Park, Shawnee, and all other Johnson County communities as well as the entire Kansas City metro. They guarantee to provide the protection your home needs against those nuisances.
Whether it’s a carpenter ant infestation, a dampwood termite infestation, or even a cockroach infestation, Midway Pest Management knows how it’s done. Call them now to get a quote.