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How to Get Rid of Winged Termites

Termites are already an alarming pest to have near your home. Just the sight of one pest can raise questions about how many more are nearby and how much damage they have already done. Knowing this, the thought of flying termites is even more worrisome and may leave you wondering about the extent of damage they can cause.

What are Flying Termites?

The good news is that flying termites are not an entirely different species of termite you need to worry about. Instead, they are special members of the termites that already exist in NYC, the eastern subterranean termite.

In a termite colony, the termites have separate castes – workers, soldiers, the queen, and the flying termites. These winged termites are alates, or swarmers. Their purpose is to fly from existing colonies and locate a new area and food source where they can build another colony. Once they find it, the termite swarmers will shed their wings and start to reproduce.

Knowing what to expect during termite swarming season can help you spot the signs of flying termites that will indicate that destructive pests are moving in and you can get termite control before they do any damage. Some of the ways to identify termite swarmers include:

  • Appearance – With their wings, the alates are about ⅜” long, although the wings are about 3 times the size of the termite’s body. The body is dark brown and the wings, of which there are 2 sets, are tan.
  • Timing – In NYC, the swarming season runs from about March once the weather starts warming up until usually around May. You may continue to see a few swarmers into summer.
  • Swarm Length – Termites swarm for a day or less so there is a limited window in which you will see them flying around. Subterranean alates swarm during the day.
  • What Termites Look For – Termites need a source of food, usually wood, which they can generally find in any buildings around your home. They also need moist soil where they can build their colonies.
  • Termites Shed Their Wings – After moving in, the swarmers will drop their wings. You may start to see them around lights or collected in spider webs, often indicating that a termite colony is now nearby, even if you did not see the swarmers.

While flying termites are not harmful themselves, they were one of the early indicators of a termite problem and a clear sign that your property is at risk for an upcoming termite infestation. If you have seen them around this spring, now is a good time to call 24 Hour Pest Control for termite control in NYC so we can start the termite extermination process.

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