Do Flying Termites Eat Wood

Do Flying Termites Eat Wood?

If you have seen flying termites around your home, you probably have a lot of questions in mind.

  • Do flying termites eat wood? Though most people confuse flying termites with flying ants they are clearly different.

So, do Flying Termites Eat Wood? Flying termites do not eat wood but only fly out to mate and reproduce and to form a new colony. In this flying termite stage, they only survive in that state for nearly an hour or two before their wings fall off and they seek a nest to lay their eggs. 

But, when they shed wings, they cause destruction by burrowing into woods or establish nests where they start their next life cycle – know how to control termites

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What Are Flying Termites – Know these Insects 

Flying termites are part of the termites’ life cycle and part of the larger insects’ family. They are winged and also are the reproductive part of the termite’s cycle. They are known as the alates.

If you have never seen flying termites, you are most probably going to confuse them with the flying ants.

  • Alates have 4 wings of the same size with a pair on each side. Their thorax and abdomen are almost similar in size and the waist is thick. The antennae are straight with a 3/8 inch long body that can reach even ½ inch wide.
  • There are 3 major species of the alates that include subterranean termites, damp wood, and Formosan termites.
  • From the 3 species, Formosan alates cause more destruction than other species. Dampwood alates are also known to destroy anything woody including furniture, books, and rotting pieces of wood.

Therefore, every time you see flying termites, you need to raise an alarm over an incoming or an already existing infestation in your home. 

Related: Subterranean Termites Treatment

Where can you Find the Flying Termites? 

The flying termites come from an already established nest to go mate and reproduce. After mating, their wings fall off as they seek a new nest to start another colony.

  • They burrow underwood and other suitable places for the next colony.
  • When they are successful, they reproduce and the cycle continues

There are different species of flying termites and each species has a different swarming season.

When do flying termites swarm?

The major reason why flying termites come out from their colonies is that they are out to mate. However, there are different species with different swarming seasons.

  • If you see a swarm of termites in broad daylight during the spring season, these are the subterranean species.
  • If the infestation is during the late summer, the swarm is from the dry wood species they also like appearing in the evenings.
  • They are very fond of artificial lights and will storm into your house in case you leave your windows and doors open.
  • Lastly, damp wood species like swarm during summer but also like hiding under damp wood and rotten pieces of timber.

When the summer season is on, damp wood species also like entering our houses like swollen balloons if the windows and doors are open.  Use window shields to prevent these termites and other insects from getting into your house.

How Long Do Flying Termites Live?

Flying termites don’t survive for long in this nature.

  • It takes approximately 1 hour as they mate and drop off their wings to look for nests where they can reproduce.

The maximum they can take in this state is 2 hours. 

Related: Conduct Termite Inspection

Flying Termites In The House-What Should I Do?

The flying termites you see around are completely harmless to you as a person. They don’t bite nor do they sting.

But there is a reason to get worried because they are either looking for a nest to establish or there is already an existing nest within your home.

  • If nothing is done, they can be built nests in your attic, ceiling, underground foundation, or any other place within your home.

In the meantime, you need to lock up your windows and doors to prevent their entry into your house. Turning off the lights also helps control those that are attracted to light.

If nothing is done, these flying termites will establish a nest-a a new queen will be formed and this could mean termite infestation. The damage to timber, books, ceiling, and furniture among other things they come around.

Next time you get a swarm of flying termites consult a pest control expert who knows the best way to eliminating them.

How Do You Get Rid Of Flying Termites?

If you have noticed these flying termites, it’s a signal that you need to take action against insect control in your area.

  • It is an indication that the termites have been hiding in your vicinity and are now going to multiply even more.
  • Flying termites are actually hard to control because they appear within a very short time and quickly disappear into their nests after mating.

The queen is also very much protected and killing it is hard making it impossible to control the rest of the termites. It will continue laying eggs and releasing more termites into your house.

Using pest control products may work but a professional pest control expert will do a much better job in eliminating them


Do flying termites eat wood? No, they don’t but they are indications of more destruction to come.

  • This winged stage is normally short for the termites where they mate before wings fall off and they look for the best place to make a new colony.
  • Though this stage does not cause any destruction, it leaves an alarm of what awaits you if you don’t take immediate action to control them.

Expect different flying termites to come out in different seasons depending on their species. They are also attracted to different things depending on their species i.e. artificial light, damp wood among others.

That said and done, there are many available means to control the termite’s invasion. However, the best option remains engaging experts in pest control for the complete elimination of the termites in your home.

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