One of the most concerning sights a South Florida homeowner can see is thousands of flying termites trying to invade your house or yard! Seeing thousands of these termites with wings might remind you of a modern day plague. It is enough to make any homeowner feel helpless as they watch flying termites anxiously trying to get into their home, or worse, already in their home. This issue is compounded when you aren’t exactly sure what type of insect you are dealing with. This is because termites with wings are often mistaken for flying ants. Both insects present unique challenges, especially if you’re dealing with thousands of them at once. That’s why it’s important to quickly identify what you are dealing with and take appropriate action fast!
What Are Flying Termites?
Not all termites have wings, only those known as “Alates” do. Alates are reproductive members of a termite colony. Their main purpose is to seek out mates to start new colonies with. They do this once a termite colony reaches maturity, which can take up to 3 years or more. A fully mature termite colony can have up to a MILLION termites in it! It is at this point that the Alates will leave the colony in hopes of finding mates and starting new colonies. The primary purpose of Alates or “Flying Termites” doing this is to ensure the survival of their species. Most often you will witness a termite “swarm” during hotter months just after a heavy rainfall has occurred. Seeing flying termites is a good indication that you or a neighbor have a termite colony in your yard that is seeking to expand.
What Do Termite Wings Look Like?
Termites with wings are most commonly referred to as “swarmers” and are often mistaken for flying ants. One of the easiest ways to tell the difference between termites with wings and Flying Ants is by their wings themselves. Termites with wings have 4 wings of equal size, while flying ants have 2 sets of wings of unequal size. In addition to that, flying termites have wings that are actually longer than their body. In contrast, flying ants wings are closer in size to their body length. Over time the flying termites wings will fall off.
Another way to easily identify flying termites is by looking at the shape of their body. Termites with wings have a long body that is almost the same width throughout. Flying ants however have a very distinct body shape with their abdomen being very narrow, giving them the appearance of having a waist. Flying ants also have bent antennae on their heads while flying termites have straight antennae on theirs. Lastly, flying ants also have longer legs than termites with wings do. So while these insects may look similar at first glance, upon closer inspection you can quickly tell the differences.
What Should You Do If You Find Termites With Wings In Your House Or Yard?
If you have seen flying termites swarming in your house or yard, here’s what you need to know, and do:
- Identify what type of swarm you have. Is it Flying Termites or Flying Ants?
- Do Not Disturb Them. If you do it could make it harder to find their nest and eliminate them at the source.
- If the swarm is inside your house then try to contain them in whichever room they are in by shutting the door.
- Immediately call The Bug Guys. We are trained termite professionals and we will help you assess the situation and recommend the best course of action.
Most importantly, TAKE ACTION FAST! We make scheduling an appointment quick and easy. Simply give us a call or schedule an appointment online. We will take it from there. If you have any termite concerns or needs, give us a call and we will gladly assist you!