Flying termites can be seen in your garden or around your home. In most cases, they are an indicator that there are termite colonies around your home. Herein, find more on how swarmers look like with pictures, the swarmers season, and how to get rid of them.
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Do Termites have Wings-Can they Fly?
Flying termites are normal termites that are at their winged stage. So yes, termites do fly. Scientifically, flying termites are referred to as alates.
Termites with wings are referred to as swarmers by most people. When you notice some termites flying around your garden, it is an indicator that there are termite colonies building up in your home.
Termites have two pairs of wings which are of equal size. This is used as the distinguishing feature between flying termites and ants.
These two insects are commonly confused but a close inspection of their wings will aid you distinguish the two.
The winged termites will only leave the nest to go flying when the conditions outside the nest are conducive.
As will be discussed below, termites will have the wings until they have mated. After mating, they shed their wings.
Flying Termite Pictures
Swarmers Season-When do Termites swarm
As the weather begins to get warm, subterranean termites begin to swarm. This is mostly at the beginning of spring when the rains have just ended. Although different termite species swarm at different times, the determinant of when they swarm is a warm environment.
You cannot give a specific age at which termite species swarm but basically, it is the maturity of a termite which triggers it to swarm. However, subterranean termites have a minimum age at which they can swarm, that is, three years.
Termites swarm at the time when they wish to begin new colonies. It is the alate nymph which develops into winged termites (swarmers). When the swarmers leave the colony, they fly until they can find a mate with whom they begin new families.
How to get rid of termites with wings in house
There are several ways of eliminating flying termites and they include the following;
This oil has been tested by professionals and found to be an effective termite killer. D-limonene is the active ingredient in orange oil which explains its excellence in killing termites.
Orange oil kills termites by dissolving the exoskeleton and as such depriving them of their body water and proteins. This is a Do It Yourself termite killer and you will only need to orange oil and a spray bottle.
- Into your spray bottle, add the orange oil.
- Follow flying termites to their home colonies and spray them or just spray them when they are on flight.
- You should also spray the furniture and walls where you see evident activity of flying termites. Pour the oil in holes where termites are likely to rest.
Using peppermint spray
This spray kills termites by suffocating them. You can prepare the spray all by yourself at home.
- Make a mixture of liquid soap and water in a ratio of 1:2; in a spray bottle.
- Add a few drops of peppermint oil.
- Stir to mix all the elements.
- Spray this mixture on the flying termites; whether they are in their nest or actually flying.
This is one of the most effective natural techniques used to kill flying termites. You are advised to choose an aerosol which has a spurt that is easy to direct.
You must read the instructions given before using the aerosol to kill the termites. It is the toxins making up the aerosol that kill the termites.
- Locate the favorite spot of the termites and establish if that’s their home.
- Spray the termites on flight even if you have not found out where they live since they will eventually carry the toxins to the rest of the colony.
Use dish soap
This soap kills termites by dehydrating them.
- Add water to a bottle then pour in some spurt of liquid meal soap.
- Ensure the soap is dispersed very well in the water by stirring the water mixture.
- You can then spray the winged termites whether they are resting or on flight.
Use diatomaceous earth
Just like the dish soap, diatomaceous earth kills termites by dehydrating their bodies. Once a termite flies into the diatomaceous earth, it gets into direct contact with it and the granules slice the termite’s body.
You are advised to place the granules next to termites sources of food since flying termites are likely to land next to their food.
- Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the area where termites have been seen.
- Do not sprinkle so much of the substance; a thin layer will be enough so that you monitor to see if any termites will be killed.
- Although this method works slowly to kill the termites, it will eventually turn out to be very successful. You are advised to repeat the procedure after every few days.
Try a bug zapper
Electrical bug zapper kills winged termites just like any other flying insects. Termites will be attracted by the light in the zappers. Once they are attracted to the light and get to the zapper, they are electrocuted.
- Locate the area where the flying termites are commonly seen.
- Hang the bug zapper on the located area.
- The winged termites will fly into the bug zappers. They are most effective when hanged in open areas.
- Always ensure there are no lights around the area you position the bug zapper as that would reduce the chances of all termites being drawn to the light from the zapper.
Some of the artificial sweeteners sold in the stores are very toxic to termites. The sweet smell works the magic by attracting the termites. Once the termites eat the sweetener and it ends up in their stomach, they will die of the high toxic levels.
- Add the artificial sweetener to some apple juice and stir to mix so as to form a thick paste.
- Place the sweetener on a cardboard then take the cardboard to the area where you spotted the flying termites.
- The termites, with an aim of feeding on the cellulose in the cardboard as well as the sweet smelling substance, end up getting toxins in their body and they die.
- As they fly back to their colonies, since they may not die immediately, they carry some of the paste to the rest of the colony. Most of the termites hence die and the termite population is decreased largely.
- After a couple of days or a week, repeat the procedure to attain total success in eliminating the flying termites.
Examine and clear the area surrounding your home
Probably, all you need to do in order to get rid of flying termites for good is take an immediate action on what should surround your house. This involves doing away with anything that is likely to draw termites to your home. Below are some of the main actions you should take;
- Get rid of the mulch around your home not unless it is cedar mulch
- If there are any tree stumps or unnecessary wood around your home, remove it as well. Remember termites will stick around your home as long as they can get food and therefore you can end their visits by discarding their food.
- Free your home of any moisture. Termites love damp places. They prefer making homes in such areas where they multiply and increase their population. Since flying termites are on flight in search of a home to start a colony, they are likely to settle for the moist places around your house. Do away with any moisture so that your home will not be their new habitat.
If you do the above and the flying termites still show up, there may be something else which is bringing the termites to your home. The best thing to do at such a point is use other methods to destroy the termite colonies.
Dig dip and flood the area
Some of the flying termites belong to the colonies that live underground. As earlier mentioned, the best and long term solution is always to terminate the entire colony.
- Dig deep into the ground until you find the home of the termites.
- Pour a lot of water to flood the soil and as such drown the termites to death.
- If you do not wish to use the flooding method, use any other methods such as spraying the termites once you find their underground home.
Use Neem oil
Although this is a very slow method when it comes to killing termites, it is safe and effective. It works as a growth inhibitor. When termites come into contact with this oil, they can no longer molt and hence growth comes to an end. Sometimes, termites exposed to neem oil can neither eat nor lay eggs.
- Pour some neem oil on a cotton ball.
- On the area or furniture where the flying termites have been located, apply the oil using the cotton ball.
- Repeat the application process severally until no flying termites can be seen.
- Track and destroy the nest of the flying termites
The best and one of the most perfect ways of eliminating termites is destroying their home. You will need to destroy the entire colony by destroying their nest.
- When you notice a group of winged termites, you are advised to follow them until you see where they live. Following them is easiest way of knowing where exactly they live.
- You can use any chemicals that are designed to kill termites to spray the entire termite colony in the nest you discovered.
Borax and sugar trap
Being very harmful to insects, borax is very helpful in eliminating flying termites. To attract the termites to this toxic substance, sweeteners are added to it. Without their knowledge, termites carry the poisoned food to the rest of the colony and within no time, they all will be dead.
- Mix borax and sugar in equal patterns.
- Add water slowly as you stir to obtain a thick but consistent paste.
- Apply this paste on a cardboard which will act like a baiting system.
- Put the cardboard just next to the favorite areas of the flying termites.
- For total success, repeat this procedure at intervals of one week.
The methods discussed above are’ Do It Yourself’ since they have minimal side effects on the surrounding people.
There are chemical ways of getting rid of flying termites and they will require a professional or, if you must use them, you must be extremely carefully. You must take the necessary precautionary measures. They include the following;
- Use of arsenic dust which involves sprinkling trioxide on the area where the flying termites stay or originate is one of the chemical ways used to kill termites. Depending on where you live, you must be sure about the rules giving directions on its use.
- Use of permethrin dust which kills termites instantly is another effective way. Just like the arsenic dust, you just need to spread it on the infested area and you will find all the termites dead.
- Bio-Blast is yet another remedy which involves use of fungus to kill termites with fungal spore. In this case, hiring a professional is the best decision you can make since it is a very dangerous method of killing termites. It could affect human being badly.
How long do termite swarms last
Termite swarms will last as long as the weather is warm and the termites have a chance to start new colonies.
After the mating process, which results to shedding of wings as already highlighted above, the termites settle and they do not fly any more as they have no wings.
Do Swarmers Bite?
Termite swarmers neither have chewing nor biting mouth parts. They therefore do not bite.
Swarming is a stage in a termite’s life cycle. Flying termites in most cases have no much interest in destroying your property. They are usually in search of new places where they can start their new colonies.
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