Are you seeing all these flying insects around or in your home? Wings everywhere in your pool, on your window sills? They are Termite swarmer's, (Or Termite Alates) They are the reproductive caste of the termite colony. During spring and summer when it is nice and humid and before it rains they will fly out of their nests looking for ideal conditions to start a new colony. It is a numbers game for these termites. Most of them will die from predators, landing in swimming pools and just not finding the right spot to start a new colony.
The spring and summer humidity and rain means back to mowing the lawns and rapidly growing gardens, but for the pest control industry it is the start of termite season. Even though termites are active all year round in South East Queensland the spring and summer makes termites more active. Our phones start ringing and people are asking us, what are these flying insects around or in our homes? and wings are everywhere. All the community Facebook groups are full of “what are these flying insects? are they Flying Termites?” posts, and urgent emails from people who have found their home full of wings! Most of the time it is nothing to be concerned about, it only means there is a colony nearby.
They are termite reproductives or what we refer to in the pest control industry as “alates” or swarmers. These termites are the future kings and queens. They have emerged from a mature termite colony nearby in the hope of starting a new colony. These alates have been developing away in their colonies producing thousands of them, waiting for when the weather conditions are just right then exit the nest in the thousands .
Termite Flying Reproductives
Flying Termite alates are not very good flyers. In fact Alates are very poor flyers so they soon hit the ground, drop their wings and go in search of a suitable site in the hope of starting a new nest. To most people this is an extremely scary thought and are wondering if they have termites in their home. However the reality is only a very very small percentage of people who find these flying termites actually have termites in their home.
In fact in most cases there is no need to panic, but it is a very good reminder that here in south east Queensland we live in an extremely high termite activity area, and we need to be proactive in regard to termite management. It is extremely important to make sure your home is protected from these timber destroying pests. So make sure your termite barrier is up to date and get regular inspections. We recommend at least one inspection a year.
The biggest concern is that the flying termites have emerged from a colony within your house. As a rule of thumb if you are confronted with a few hundred alates within your home it is most likely they have been attracted to a light sources within your home and simply crawled in under the doors, or through downlights. So if you are confronted with thousands of these alates within your home, it is a good possibility they have emerged from termite infestation within your home. When this is the case we strongly recommend termite inspection by a licensed termite manager. An inspection is not just about trying to find termites. Additionally the inspection is about looking for conditions that are conducive to termites and ways you can reduce these conditions. If you have any concerns at all, please do not hesitate to contact us.