Homeowners face plenty of situations that make their blood pressure spike. The constant pressure of making mortgage and insurance payments. The sudden need for unexpected repairs. The threat of natural disasters such as floods, blizzards, mudslides, windstorms, and wildfires. But despite the challenges posed by these alternately normal and extraordinary challenges, they don’t normally cause as much damage as a little thing that gets no larger than three-eighths of an inch: an ordinary flying termite.
In this post, we will discuss what flying termites look like, detail their specific place in the pantheon of these peculiarly irksome pests, and explain how to get rid of flying termites as quickly as possible. Indeed, though many homeowners and renters know that flying termites are bad news, comparably fewer realize how they can become a property’s worst nightmare.
What do Flying Termites Look Like?
If you see small, scurrying insects clustered around wood trim, cracks in your ceiling, or where pipes meet your walls, you may start asking, “Are there flying termites in my apartment?” or “Do flying termites in house pose a truly serious problem?” While the answer to the second question is virtually always a “yes,” the first can prove more challenging.
What do flying termites look like? This is the first query you must answer before determining whether or not you have a termite problem. Flying termites are roughly three-eighths of an inch long (although they can be a little smaller). They have four wings that are all the same length and that extend far past their bodies. They also possess short, straight antennae, and their thorax and abdomen are roughly the same width, making them seem to have a thick-waisted appearance. As we will discuss further below, these seemingly small distinctives set termite apart from other similar looking bugs.
How Long Do Flying Termites Live?
If you’ve determined that you do have flying termites (which are also called alates) in your property, here’s the good news: They don’t typically live for very long after they’ve taken flight. Flying termites are only one of several sorts of termites that live in a nest. Once they take flight, they typically only remain aloft for no longer than an hour. After that, their wings fall off, they plummet to the ground, and then they perish due to exposure or other termite-eating critters.
That being said, don’t let the fact that most flying termites die within about 24 hours of taking off reassure you. By the time you’ve noticed them, a mature and well-established nest has been built in the area — perhaps for years. Flying termites exists because they are spreading out in an attempt to make nests of their own.
This leads us to yet another negative point, namely that flying termites who find mates can live for more than a decade, creating thriving colonies whose primary occupation lies in eating wood, wood, and even more wood. That can translate into immense damage to your structure.