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11 Tips On How To Get Rid Of Flying Termites

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Every two to six years, a mature termite colony will allow flying termites to leave their nest and mate.

If you see flying termites in your home, it’s an indication that you gave a termite infestation nearby, and it’s growing.

In this article, we’ll go over the different ways you can get rid of flying termites and prevent them from coming back.

1. Whole-House Treatment

The best way to get rid of flying termites inside and around your home is to treat your entire house.

Whole-house treatment is especially important if the flying termites are coming from inside your home.

A mature termite nest generally releases flying termites every two to six years to expand their colony.

If you have a mature colony inside your home, you can expect to see these flying termites every couple of years if you don’t address the infestation.

Mature termite colonies indicate a large termite infestation that is best treated by professionals.

If you have Drywood termites, your best option is to perform a whole structure treatment such as fumigation or heat.

For Dampwood termites, make sure to remove excess moisture or plumbing issues around your home and replace any water-damaged wood.

If you have subterranean termites, a localized or fumigation treatment combined soil treatment is the best option.

2. Bug Zappers

Flying termites are the only type of termite attracted to light.

Bug zappers kill Alates by attracting them with light and electrocuting them.

When using bug zappers, make sure to turn off as many lights as possible in your property. That includes light both inside and outside your home.

Minimizing visible light increases the chance the flying termites will be drawn to your trap.

If you see discarded wings pilling up in a specific area, place the bug zapper near them.

Discarded wings are a sign that the termites are frequently flying near and above that area.

One disadvantage of this device is that it will attract the more flying termites towards your home.

It’s also deadly to beneficial insects such as moths.

Bug zappers also tend to be messy.

The vaporized termites produce bug mist that can travel up to 6 feet.

When using a bug zapper indoors, keep it low on the floor to reduce the amount of mist and bacteria spread when the termites get zapped.

If you are using a hanging bug zapper, avoid staying in that room until the swarm is over.

3. Use a Vacuum Cleaner

Another way you can get rid of flying termites is by using a vacuum cleaner.

If termites are flying around your house, you can use a vacuum cleaner to pick them all up.

For this, I recommend using a shop-vac.

Shot vacs allow you to add termiticide solution inside the vacuum to kill the termites once they get sucked in.

If you find the exit point inside your home, vacuum any flying termites that try to fly out.

Flying termites won’t all leave their nest all at once, so be sure to wait for more to appear.

I also recommend injecting the exit hole with termiticide after vacuuming.

This way, you’ll be able to kill any other termites that are living inside the galleries.

4. Orange Oil Spray

Orange oil has a 96% mortality rate on termites.

It is one of the most effective natural solutions for these pests.

If the flying termites are coming from an active gallery inside your home, you can inject the orange oil into their exit point.

Once the oil penetrates the wood, it will kill any termites that come in contact with it.

You could do the same thing if you found the exit hole outside your home, as long as it’s on wood.

If the flying termites are coming from inside the soil, orange oil will not be effective.

If there is a swarm inside your home, you can directly spray orange oil on the flying termites.

Just be sure you wear protective clothing such as long sleeves, goggles, and a face mask.

Also, be aware of the direction of the wind when spraying to avoid the solution going back towards you.

Resource: Is Orange Oil Effective On Termites?

5. Foam Treatment

Foam Treatment works similarly to using orange oil.

It involves injecting pesticides into the nests’ exit hole.

These pesticides can come in the form of liquid or foam formulations.

Foam and liquid treatments can travel farther into the wood than dust treatments.

These treatments expand or absorb into the wood, making it easy to fill all adjacent termite galleries.

These pesticides will kill any termites that come in contact with the solution.

6. Boric Acid

You can use boric acid in several ways to get rid of flying termites.

The first is that you can spray them directly with a borate solution.

They will ingest the borate and die.

You can also treat your wood with borate to prevent flying termites from starting a colony after penetrating the wood.

Study show that boric acid can eliminate termites on wood between 70% and 89% after ten days.

You can also apply borate in a powder form.

In this study, powdered boric acid was shown to have a 100% mortality rate on termites after 15 days.

To treat termites with boric acid, dissolve 10 oz. of Borax with warm water.

Mix and transfer the mixture to a spray bottle. Then, spray the infested areas with the solution.

Repeat the application for seven days to allow the boric acid to penetrate the wood thoroughly.

Keep in mind that for boric acid to be effective, it needs to seep into the wood evenly.

To make sure the wood absorbs the acid well, apply several layers to all sides of the forest.

7. Cover All Light Sources/ Bug Lights

Flying termites are the only type of termite attracted to light.

If there’s a swarm outside your home, cover your windows with thick curtains to prevent attracting termites towards your home.

I also recommend turning off any outdoor light or using bug lights until the swarm is over.

Bug lights or yellow light are less attractive to termites than traditional white light.

It is important to note that lack of light is not going to make termites leave necessarily. If they are swarming outside your home, they will stay whether or not there’s light.

That said, removing or minimizing light will help prevent flying termites from being drawn into your house.

8. Chemical Soil Treatment

Flying termites swarm to mate and start a new colony.

To prevent flying termites from starting a colony inside your home, I recommend treating your soil with a termiticide.

To do this, drill holes about 2 feet deep into the ground and around 12-15 inches apart.

Cover the entire area of your yard.

Using a pressurized sprayer, inject the liquid termiticide into the ground. Spray each hole for around 5-10 seconds.

You typically want to use around 1 gallon for every 10-15ft.

Any flying termites that try to make a nest in your soil will die once they come into contact with the chemical barrier.

One of the most effective termiticides to use is Termidor.

Termidor is safe to use on plants and trees, although you should not treat areas with edible plants with it.

Edible plants should be plante in untreated soil or lifted garden beds.

9. Cardboard Traps

Flying subterranean termites and dampwood termites are attracted to moisture and cellulose. Cardboard traps offer both of these.

The idea is to draw flying termites in the cardboard rather than soil or wood.

To make cardboard traps you’ll need:

  • Cardboard or a box
  • Water
  • Termiticide

How to Make a Cardboard Trap:

  • Cut up the box into large pieces for outdoor or smaller pieces if indoors.
  • Stack 3-5 cardboard pieces.
  • Adding a thin layer of soil on each cardboard layer for outdoors.
  • Soak the cardboard with water.
  • Place the cardboard where the swarm is.

If you see any termites, spray them with termiticide or orange oil.

It’s worth noting that cardboard traps have mixed results and don’t always attract flying termites.

That’s because the termites can find other suitable places to nests such as soil and rotting wood.

10. Nematodes

Another way you can prevent flying termites from establishing a nest and kill an existing colony in your home is with Beneficial Nematodes.

Beneficial Nematodes are parasites used as a biocontrol for pests.

They attack insects but don’t pose any harm to plants, pets, and humans.

Beneficial Nematodes are deadly to termites—specifically, subterranean termites.

They enter the termite’s bodies and release a deadly bacteria that kills the termites within 48 hours.

When tested in a lab, nematodes were able to eliminate 82% of termites after two weeks.

Nematodes are especially effective on soft soil as it makes it easy for nematodes to travel through and attack the termites.

To apply Beneficial Nematodes, combine the entire pack with one gallon of water.

Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before pouring into a spray bottle.

Spray the mixture on infested wood or directly on the soil around your home. You can also spray it directly on mud tubes.

Spray nematodes daily for at least two weeks.

Nematodes are best suited for swarmers you see outside your home.

You can spray these around your yard to prevent any subterranean swarmer from starting colonies in the soil around your home.

Resource: 15 Ways to Kill Termites Naturally

11. Beauveria Bassiana

Beauveria Bassiana is a fungus used around the world for insect control applications.

This fungus infects different invertebrates they come into contact with.

It’s able to reach a 100% mortality rate on termites after only ten days.

Similar to nematodes, Beauveria Bassiana is a method best used if you seeing swarmers outside your home.

It will kill any flying termite trying to establish a colony in your soil.

Bauveria Bassiana will also kill any existing infestation around your home.

To use Bauveria Bassiana for termite treatment, mix the solution with water.

Then, using a spray bottle, spray the fungus around your yard and the outside of your home.

Once applied, Bauveria Bassiana will take effect at around day 7.

BB fungus is regarded as safe for humans and pets.

Resource: 15 Ways to Kill Termites Naturally

How To Prevent Termites?

  • Properly Store your Firewood

Termites thrive on firewood, so make sure to keep them at least 20 feet from your home.

It’s also a good idea to keep firewood a few inches off the ground.

  • Bug Screens

Install bug screens over attic vents to prevent entry.

  • Ventilate Properly

Termites need a water source to survive. And they flourish in damp and moist areas.

Ventilate your home to prevent them from becoming too humid.

  • Replace All Damaged or Rotting Wood.

Remove all damaged wood. Make sure to replace it with wood that’s treated with pesticides.

  • Maintain Landscape

Remove all plants and mulch away from the foundation of your home.

  • Apply fresh Paint

Chipped paint and small holes allow termites to penetrate wood easily, so make sure to seal them.

  • Eliminate Excess Moisture

To prevent termites, make sure to keep moisture away from your home with proper drainage systems.

Resource: 16 Termite Prevention Tips

Signs You Have Termite infestation

Unfortunately, there are no standard devices that make it easy to detect termites.

The most common way to inspect for termites is to look for visual signs.

Here are some that you should watch out for:

  1. Flying Termites Or Swarmers
  2. Discarded Termite Wings
  3. Dead Alates
  4. Mud Tubes
  5. Pallets/ Frass
  6. Patches
  7. Hollow Wood
  8. Noises In Your Walls
  9. Bubbling Paint
  10. Damaged Wood
  11. Hard To Open Doors And Windows
  12. Termite Cement

Resource: Top 13 Signs You Have Termites

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Are Flying Termites?

Flying termites are also known as swarmers, Alates, and reproductives. Their primary purpose is to reproduce.

Alates fly to leave the nest to start new colonies. They are future kings and queens.

Alates lose their wings soon after they mate and settle on a location to build their nest.

What Causes Flying Termites?

Every two to six years, a mature termite colony will allow flying termites to leave their nest and mate.

This event is known as swarming.

Swarming describes an event where mass termites from an insect colony gather to start a new colony.

Some examples of insects that swarm are ants, termites, bees, and wasps.

If you see a single termite or ant flying around, that’s usually an indication that a swarm is happening or about to happen.

Where Do Flying Termites Come From?

Flying termites, known as reproductives, are a type of termite within an existing colony.

Every two to six years, they are allowed to leave their nest by the queen termite.

Flying termites leave their nest for two purposes: to mate and start a new colony.

They leave their nest using an exit hole or damage on the wood.

When termites are inside the wood, exit holes can look similar to kick-out holes produced by drywood termites.

For subterranean termites, exit holes can be in the soil.

Flying Termites vs. Flying Ants

Termites

Flying termites have straight antennae and two pairs of translucent wings.

Both the front and back pairs of wings are equal in length and twice as long as their bodies.

Compared to ants, termites have relatively straight bodies.

Ants

Flying ants have bent antennae and pinched bodies.

Unlike termites, they have two brownish pairs of wings.

Their wings are unequal, with the front side being longer.

Their wings are also shorter and more proportionate to their bodies.

Do Swarming Termites Mean Infestation?

Flying termites are one of the first indications that there is an infestation.

Unlike other termites within the termite cast system, flying termites go out in the open to mate.

Termite colonies don’t produce flying termites unless the colony is mature enough to expand.

A flying termite in your home is an indication that there’s a mature termite colony nearby.

If you see flying termites in your home, take immediate action, and determine how they got inside.

See if there is a swarm outdoors.

If you have an open window or door, they might have just stumbled into your home.

If no entry points or no swarm are happening outside, you likely have an infestation inside your house.

How Do Flying Termites Get In Your House?

There are two ways a flying termite can get inside your house.

If there’s a swarm happening outside or near your home, the termites could get in through an entry point.

Entry points can be an open door, window,
or vent system.

Flying termite can also get into your home if you have an infestation inside.

The existing termite colony inside your home can create a hole around their nest to give flying termites an exit point.

When Do Termites Swarm?

The swarming season varies per region. But most fly in the warmer and dryer months of the year.

Termites avoid seasons with high winds and rain because they make it difficult for termites to fly and reach their mate.

Flying during summer when the weather is warm, and winds are calm ensure the highest chances of success.

Note that flying termites only take place in mature colonies.

It typically takes more than more than five years for a termite colony to produce flying termites.

Are Flying Termites Different From Other Termites?

Flying termites are the only type of termites within the termite caste that can fly and reproduce.

They are also the only type of termite that’s attracted to light.

Other names for flying termites are Alates, reproductives, and swarmers.

Flying termites are the future kings and queens of termite colonies.

Flying Termites vs. Worker Termites vs. Soldier Termites

Flying termite’s primary purpose is to reproduce.

They use their wings to leave their nest, mate, and start a new colony.

Worker termites’ do the labor in the colony.

They forage for food, feed the colony, build the nest, tend to the young, king, and queen.

A soldier termites’ primary purpose is to protect the colony from invading insects, primarily ants.

They have large mandibles meant they use to fight off any threat.

Because of their large mandibles, soldier termites cannot eat by themselves and are fed by the workers.

How Long Do Flying Termites Live?

After leaving the nest, flying termites will die in a few hours unless they find a suitable place to start a colony.

Those who fail to find a place to stay will die quickly from dehydration.

Flying termites swarm for about an hour before they shed their wings and fall to the ground.

Once they shed their wings, they must find a place to stay.

Most Alates will be unsuccessful, especially when swarming indoors.

The ones that succeed in finding a suitable home will go on to become the queen and king.

Termite king and queens can live up to 50 years.

But the average age of termite queen and the king is between 15-25 years.

Are Flying Termites Bad?

Yes. Flying termites don’t travel far.

So if you see a flying termite, that means there’s a mature colony inside your home or near you.

If you see a tiny insect with wings inside your home, stop and take a closer look.

If it’s a termite, take immediate action and determine how they got inside.

See if there is a swarm outdoors.

If you find a termite swarm close to your home, that could signify that you have a termite infestation in your yard.

If there are no entry points or swarm happening outside, you likely have an infestation inside your house.

Termite colonies don’t begin producing flying termites (swarmers) until they are mature, typically after 3-4 years.

That means that the infestation in your home is large and needs to be addressed immediately.

What Attracts Flying Termites?

Flying termites are attracted to light sources, moisture, and damaged wood.

If you have flying Subterranean termites, they will be most attracted to soft soil.

Flying dampwood will be looking for moist and rotting wood.

Drywood termites will be looking for cracks and holes on drywood.

How Do You Prevent Flying Termites?

The best way to prevent flying termites is to eliminate termite infestations.

If there’s an infestation in your home, you can expect the colony to release flying termites every two to six years to expand their colony.

To prevent them from coming back, you’ll need to remove the infestation.

If you live in an area that experiences termite swarms every season, I recommend doing preventative termites treatments.

Preventative termite treatments will keep termites from building a nest in your home.

Termite prevention may include:

  • Treating any exposed wood
  • Apply a fresh coat of paint
  • Seal up and cracks and holes in your foundation and walls, doors, and windows
  • Remove or replace decaying wood
  • Apply bug filters to any vents around your home
  • Repair damaged window and doors screens
  • Seal up attic entryways
  • Repair damaged vents
  • Chemical soil treatment
  • Regular termite inspections

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