Pile of flying termites

Flying termites means serious trouble

It might be said that seeing termites with wings is the insect equivalent of having a black cat cross your path – in other words, a sign of bad luck.

If you see swarms of flying termites around or inside your home, it should act as a warning sign for 2 potential dangers:

  1.  You may already have an existing termite problem
  2.  Your home may be at risk of potential termite infestation.

The actual swarmers themselves do not cause damage. It is their offspring, which have the power to damage your property once they land back on solid ground and search for a suitable location to start a new colony.

If you find any of the signs of termites or their swarmers, contact your local Ehrlich Pest Control office right away. Stop the termite damage before it gets too severe with our termite removal and prevention specialists.

Do termites fly?

Certain termites within a colony fly, and flying termites are one of the clearest signs of a termite problem and trouble to you and your home!

Experts are always saying how difficult it is to tell if you have termites. However, when termites with wings emerge from the nest to take flight, all of a sudden, you are presented with a very obvious, and not at all subtle, sign of termites.

Some ant species also swarm around the same time of year, so you might confuse the two. However, treatment for termites and ants differ enormously.

If you see winged termites indoors, the alarm bells should be ringing loud and clear. You may have an existing problem. In other words, you may have termite damaged timber or damaged furniture in your home.

On the other hand, seeing a termite swarm outdoors may not be too much of a concern apart from the obvious nuisance if you happen to be caught in the middle of it. More on this later.

When do termites fly?

Flying termites or termite swarmers
Termite wings on a walkway

Usually in the spring. You may have witnessed swarms of winged termites, especially when the ambient air temperatures start to rise. This change in temperature triggers the young adult winged termites to emerge from their nests in large groups.

What is the point of flying termites?

It signals the start of a new termite colony. Swarming is the means by which sexually mature termites with wings leave their nest due to overcrowding or lack of sufficient food. Once the male locates a female he likes, they break off their wings, symbolizing that they are a couple. The new couple then select a nest location, mate, and become king and queen of a new colony. The queen has been known to live for 30 or more years.

Have you ever found discarded wings by a window?

Termite wings
Discarded termite wings

In the case of Drywood termites, this could be timber within your roof. This is where the damage often begins…which can continue unnoticed for months and even years!

In the case of Subterranean termites, once back on the ground, they will dig into the soil to start new colonies underground.

How to reduce the risk from termite swarms

Built-up moisture in wood resulting from damaged timber on your property can attract termites. Regular inspection of your home is key to protecting against a termite infestation.

How to prevent termite activity

There are things you can do now to protect your home and get rid of termites. Ehrlich recommends taking the following actions:

  • Correct moisture issues such as leaks, drainage concerns, excess condensation, etc.
  • Watch heating and cooling units closely for condensation issues
  • Remove extraneous wood and debris from near your home and your yard, including construction materials, fallen trees, stumps, leaf litter, etc.
    Avoid wood to soil contact
  • Keep mulch pulled back from the foundation
  • Do not stack firewood next to your home – keep it at a distance
  • Do not use untreated wood or timber in construction projects such as decks, sheds, etc.

If you feel that you might have termites in your home, the sooner you call for help, the better. Ehrlich knows that no two homes are alike. Our termite experts will work with you to develop a customized plan that’s right for your home and family Contact us today.

Ashley Smith

Ashley is a Digital Content Manager with Rentokil. She loves drinking coffee and spending time with her dogs.


  1. Althia

    How do I send you a picture of the bugs in my apartment?
    What about flying insects that look close to termites but are powdery wh smashed?



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