What You Need to Know about Flying Termites

The continuous warm weather in the Pasadena, CA means there is something crawling around the outside of your home that could easily end up costing you a lot of money. This is termites that can build nests either above or underground, giving them easy access to your home, where they can cause hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars’ worth damage.

The worst part is that termites can live hidden in your yard or home for many years, slowly destroying everything they touch for many years. There is, however, one important warning sign you must be aware of, flying termites. They are also known as “termite swarmers.” If you spot winged termites swarming around your home, they may be an indication that you have a far more serious problem to deal with.

Termites Can Fly?

Termites can fly? Who knew? While termites are not a member of any category of flying insects (think wasps, mosquitoes, bees), there is a small number of termites that actually can fly. However, they can only do so for a very short period of time before their wings fall off. The termite colony is broken down into three separate castes or groups. Each of these castes has its own role within the colony:

  • Alates
  • Soldiers
  • Workers

Of the three castes of termite, only the alates can fly, because they are the only ones who have wings. Alates are the only termites who become sexually developed as they are destined to become future queens and kings in next year’s colonies. The flights of large groups of these termites are referred to as “swarms.

Termite Season Starts

The swarming of termites is considered to be the start of the termite season. Swarms happen once per year at different times based on the location and species of termite. Seasonality also plays a large part in when the swarms occur. Termites swarm on their way to finding a place to start a new colony and to breed. It also marks the beginning of the termites’ life cycle.

It is during this time that sexually mature female and male termites leave their original nests taking flight in what is called their “nuptial flight.” Once they leave the nest, the group up in the air in swarms and then mate with termites from other colonies. Once the termites have mated, they will land, shed their wings, and begin forming a new colony.

When Do They Swarm

Here in the Pasadena area, termites typically swarm in early spring as the weather begins to warm up. They use a number of environmental clues to help them determine the right time to swarm so that they can synchronize their swarm with those from other colonies for breeding purposes. Most species will swarm in the daytime, however, the Formosan termite swarms at night.

The best way to deal with an infestation of flying termites is to call a professional pest control service to eliminate all termites. This is the best way to ensure your property remains free of termites, the vast majority of “home remedies” typically end up in termites coming back to your property.