Spotted winged termites? Uh-oh! That’s a red flag. It means that a termite colony is living in your home or yard. They’re starting to swarm. So, how can you recognize a termite problem? Spotting it is the first step. Let’s discuss how to do this.
Learn what termites with wings look like
If you want to get rid of termites, it’s important to recognize what they look like when they have wings. Termites with wings are different from other bugs that fly, such as ants. They have two sets of wings of equal size.
Termite swarmers usually appear in spring or early summer, after there has been a lot of rain. They are the reproductive caste of mature colonies and swarm to create new colonies. They look for cues from the environment – like light or water sources – to fly far from their old nest.
Termite swarmers have:
- Four wings of equal length
- Six legs
- Small waists
Their size varies greatly between species. Worker and soldier termites are generally small (1/4 inch) but reproductive alates can reach 3/4 inch. They drop their wings soon after mating, so if you see flying bugs near your property or home, check indoors for discarded wings.
The best way to identify swarming termites is by taking photos and showing them to a licensed pest control professional. A professional can tell if they are true swarming termites – which need treatment – or harmless insects like ants or beetles, which don’t need treatment.
Identify the type of termite
Suspect termites in your home? Identify them! The most common type in North America is the subterranean termite. These critters burrow and build mud tubes from food sources to their colonies.
Winged Termites are the reproducers of the species. Distinguish them from flying ants by their antennae length, waist size, and wing length. Subterranean swarmers have two equal-length antennae, a broad waist, and wings twice as long as their body. Flying ants have bent antennae with a longer rear, and shorter wings than their body when viewed from above. Subterranean termites shed both sets of wings after flight, while flying ants keep theirs attached after landing.
Don’t ignore signs or try to diagnose on your own. Contact a pest control professional for an accurate assessment. This will help protect your home from further infestation and possible damage.
Determine the Extent of the Infestation
Spotted winged termites or swarmers? That’s a sure sign of an infestation. To check how bad it is, inspect your home closely. Look for entry points like cracks, and evidence like mud tunnels, wings, and damaged wood. Careful inspection is key to finding the extent of the infestation.
Look for signs of termite damage
Determining the extent of the termite infestation starts with looking for signs of damage. Such signs can be small holes in wood or drywall surfaces. You may also see hollow wood, sawdust-like bits, or mud tubes around your property. If you find any damage, it is important to take action quickly, before it gets worse.
Termites usually start in one spot and spread. So, inspect other parts of your home, such as cracks in walls or window frames, or near pipes and air ducts. Search for wings shed by swarmers, as these may signal a nearby nest. Finally, check foundation walls and eaves for mud tunnels, where termites often travel.
Check for mud tubes
A telltale sign of termite infestation? Mud tubes! They link the nest to food source. These tubes are made of soil, wood and other stuff. This defends them from light, air and environment. Also, it gives a humid atmosphere for easy movement.
To spot mud tubes, look for small ridges along baseboards and other places around your home. If you see a broken or scraped away tube, investigate it further. It could be termites!
Sight of termites with wings? That’s a warning sign! You have a termite infestation. Immediately take steps to find and fix it. These winged termites, also known as swarmers, have already started to form a colony. There is likely damage in your home. Take action quickly to avoid further destruction to your property.
Contact a professional pest control company
Discovering flying termites in your home? Contact a professional pest control company now! Quick action is key to reducing damage. The technicians have the know-how to identify and treat the infestation. They use traps, bait systems, and chemical treatments. Their advice on preventive measures will help avoid future infestations.
Don’t delay! Seek help right away to stop these pests from causing costly damage.
Consider using a DIY termite control product
DIY termite control has many products. The most common is a termiticide, which is a pesticide for termites. Buy termiticides at home improvement stores in liquids or granular baits. Read and follow directions for the best results.
Physical barriers like
- metal mesh,
- plastic sheeting,
- sprays with natural oils and pyrethrins,
- sticky traps,
- and borate solutions
can help. Nematodes that feed on termites are another option. Check labels before using inside your home.
Prevent Future Infestations
Termite swarmers with wings? That means there is an infestation! You must take action to stop it. Preventative measures can reduce the chance of future termite problems. Let’s discuss the steps to take:
Check for signs of termite activity regularly
Do regular checks for termite activity. Inspect your property twice a year. After heavy rain and during hot weather too. Look for mud tubes, wood dust and droppings near walls and windowsills. Listen for a faint noise, which is common in dry-wood termite colonies.
If you find mud tubes, use a blunt tool to break through one or two sections. If it repairs itself, it’s an active infestation. Call a professional for help.
Check timber frames and joinery around the house. Use a screwdriver to check for soft spots. This indicates pest damage or moisture build-up.
Regular maintenance prevents moisture build-up in vulnerable areas. Check
- decks, and
- retaining walls
Repair if damage is found.
Make sure to reduce moisture around your home
Minimizing moisture around your house is key to avoid termite infestations. To achieve this, do the following:
- Clear debris from gutters & drains to ensure water is diverted away.
- Fix any leaking pipes or faucets right away.
- Prune plants close to the foundation to enable better air flow and drying.
- Make sure gutters are angled away from the foundation to avoid water collecting around it.
- Check roof vents and other structures for damage or decay. This can also attract termites.
- Invest in a dehumidifier for humid areas, like bathrooms, basements or crawl spaces. This will maintain the humidity levels and prevent termite infestations.
Use a termite barrier to protect your home
Once you spot termites with wings, it’s smart to take preventive action to shield your house. Metal or plastic sheets make long-lasting, successful barriers placed around outer walls and window frames. This keeps new colonies from entering your home.
A pro inspection every one or two years is wise. It checks for damage and evidence of infestations. This gives you peace of mind in protecting your home from pests.
Protective sprays and gels designed for eliminating existing infestations and keeping them away are an option. They work differently than physical barriers but still work effectively when used the right way. Note that regular use may be required to keep colonies away.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the signs of termites with wings?
If you see termites with wings, it's a sign that they are trying to create a new colony. These termites will have longer wings than regular termites and they may look like flying ants.
How do I prevent termites with wings?
To prevent termites with wings, you should inspect your home for any signs of damage or moisture. Make sure to seal any cracks or holes in your home, and keep the exterior of your home free of wood or debris. You should also have your home professionally inspected for any signs of termites.
What should I do if I see termites with wings?
If you see termites with wings, contact a pest control professional immediately. A professional can assess the situation and provide the necessary treatment to get rid of the termites.