Many situations can cause blood pressure to rise in homeowners. Constant pressure to make mortgage and insurance payments. Unexpected repairs are often needed. The danger of natural disasters like floods, wildfires, mudslides and blizzards. These alternately extraordinary and normal challenges can be challenging, but they aren’t as damaging as something that is no bigger than three-eighths an inch: an ordinary flying ant.

This post will explain what flying termites are, how they can be removed quickly, and where they fit in the pantheon. Although homeowners and renters are well aware that flying termites can be a problem, few people realize the extent to which they can cause property damage.

What does it look like to be a flying termite?

You may be asking yourself if you are seeing small, crawling insects around your wood trim, cracks or pipes, and whether they are a serious problem. Or “Do flying termites in my house pose a serious problem?” The second question is almost always answered “yes”, but the first one can be more difficult.

What does it look like to be a flying termite?

This is the first question you need to answer in order to determine if you have termite problems. Flying termites measure approximately three-eighths an inch in length, although they can grow to a greater extent. Their wings are four-eighths of an inch long and extend well beyond their bodies. Their antennae are straight and short. They also have an abdomen and thorax that are approximately the same width. This gives them a thicker appearance. These seemingly minor differences set termites apart from other similar-looking bugs, as we’ll discuss below.

How long do flying termites live?

The good news is that flying termites, also known as alates, don’t usually live long after taking flight. The nest can house many types of termites, including flying termites. They usually stay aloft for less than an hour after taking flight. They then lose their wings and plummet to earth. Eventually, they die from exposure or other termite-eating insects.

However, the fact that most flying termites will die within 24 hours of taking flight should not be a cause for alarm. A mature nest with a well-established nest may have been established in the area by the time you first notice them. They are trying to build their nests by spreading out.

Another negative aspect is that flying termites can live more than a decade with mates, creating colonies that thrive on wood and more wood. This can cause severe damage to your structure.

What is the difference between flying termites and normal termites?

Termites follow a specific life cycle and flying termites are part of it. Termites start as eggs and hatch into larvae before maturing into molting Nymphs.

These annoying insects can then become:


These termites dig tunnels in order to expand the colony.


These termites are large-headed and powerfully built to protect colony members. Don’t worry, though! They won’t bite people.

Flying termites Alates:

These termites are the only ones that can reproduce. Are flying termites capable of eating wood? They can however, find new colonies.

When you consider the length of their lives, it becomes clearer how different these insects are in their roles. While soldiers and workers live for about a year, flying termites usually die within a few months. A termite queen, according to some estimates, can live for many decades. It is easy to wonder how to eliminate termites yourself, but it is important to understand that these tiny creatures are tough and resilient.

Flying Termites vs. Flying Ants

Flying termites, as we have already mentioned, have four long wings with thick waists and straight antennae. They are small, so other insects can sometimes mistake them for flying termites. The humble flying ant is the most common source of confusion. Although the ant may look similar to a termite from a distance, close inspection shows that they are quite different.

Bent Antennae: Flying ants’ antennae have a hinge-like appearance that makes them appear like they are elbows.

Although ants don’t have slim waists, their narrow waists are reminiscent of wasps.

Different sets of wings: Termites have four wings, but flying ants have two wings. One pair is larger than the other.

Swarms and Flying Termites: Causes

Flying termites swarm naturally as part of their life cycle. The causes of this phenomenon are very simple. The alates will seek out mates once a colony reaches its maximum capacity. It may take a colony three to four years to reach this point. This explanation is simple enough, but it does not provide any practical or actionable information that can be used by homeowners or business owners to avoid problems. Although we’ll give you some guidelines about when to expect them to appear, the exact timing of their expansion will depend on where they are located and what local conditions are.

When will flying termites be discovered?

According to a calendar view, termites usually emerge in spring or summer. However, some species can swarm as late November. Flying termites are often seen after rain, when the air is calm and still. Flying termites are attracted to light, which is why we often see them after rain. All of these elements are combined, and a termite swarm may descend on any area with bright lights from April to August.

Common Signs that a Termite infestation is occurring

If you are concerned that termites may be infesting your home or business, don’t panic and get started on the investigation. Termite infestations that are well-developed often show distinctive signs.

These include:

  • Mud Tubes outside Your Property:

They can be found in many places such as close to foundations and within or outside of a structure’s walls, ceilings and plumbing. One way to test for active infestation is to break a tube and check later to make sure it has been fixed.

  • Mud Splatters

Termites hate airflow so they will fill small holes with mud.

Odd Structural Problems: A building’s parts that sag, or even break, may be indicative of termite damage.

  • Strange structural issues suddenly appear.
  • A sagging ceiling.
  • A broken door jamb.
  • A buckling wooden floor.

These issues could be caused by rot or may be a sign that you have termites.

Frass is a termite dropping that is dry, six-sided and tan. It has a distinctive shape.

If you find dead flying termites inside, this could indicate that you have a termite problem.

How to Prevent Flying Termite Activity & Damage

We want to be clear about one thing: termites can be a serious problem that you should not attempt to solve on your own. The annual damage caused by termites is estimated to be in excess of $1 billion. By the time you discover the problem, it might be too late to fix.

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