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Madison, MS 39110

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Flying Termites: What Are They and What Do They Mean?

Subterranean termites are the most common type in the US. They’re notorious for underground activities. While everyone knows they like to chomp on wood (inside your house), you may not realize that they can fly. Well, certain ones can do this at various times of the year.

It’s important to learn as much as you can about flying termites. That way, you can spot them and figure out what to do about them.

Signs of Termites

It’s often hard to find out if you have termites. You’re not likely to see them, so you only notice the damage they do. Pay attention to the following signs of termites and call an exterminator if you notice any of them:

  • Drooping and discolored drywall
  • Wood with a hollow sound when tapped
  • Peeling paint that’s similar to water damage
  • Small pin-like holes in drywall
  • Loosened tiles (add moisture from termites)
  • Buckling laminate or wood floorboards
  • Very squeaky floorboards
  • Stuck doors and windows
  • Crumbling and damaged wood
  • A maze-like pattern in walls, floorboards, and furniture
  • Mounds that look like salt or pepper (drywall termite pellets)
  • Piles of wings from flying termites
  • Flying termite swarms

Flying Termites Establishing New Colonies

Flying termites can only be seen at certain times of the year. Typically, termite swarms occur outside or inside the home when mature termites leave to start a new colony. Once the swarmers have taken flight, they lose their wings. 

Therefore, you only see flying termites at two times in the year (spring and fall). However, the exact timing for the swarm does vary based on the weather conditions and species. It usually happens in the afternoon or morning, so you may not see the swarm itself.

It’s important to note that swarmers really don’t fly well. Therefore, when they finally settle on something, they shed their wings soon after. If you see those wings on windowsills or other areas, you’ve probably got a colony, and the swarmers (adult reproductive termites) are ready to mate and create a second colony (or third).

You’re going to find flying termites only when a colony has matured and must expand. This is roughly three to four years. Therefore, if you see a swarm or wings shed, it means you have a termite problem, and it’s been going on for a while.

If you live close to your neighbors, though, they could have the termites. The flying termites traveled to your home to set up a new colony. Winged termites can be blown to you by the wind. Just seeing a single termite outside the door or window doesn’t always indicate that you have a problem. However, you should consider a termite inspection for the home to be safe.

Though it’s scary to see them, they don’t mate in masses. For every 1,000 flying termites, just one is likely to successfully mate to create a new colony.

What Do Flying Termites Look Like?

Typically, flying termites are about 3/8 inches long and have a black or dark-brown body. They are often mistaken as flying ants. Typically, their wings extend far beyond the body. Flying ants tend to have a pinched waist, but flying termites don’t.

Most worker termites have a light color. Therefore, it’s easier to spot the flying termites. The dark colors help them retain their moisture so that they can leave the nest. Also, they have four wings (a set on each side).

In general, flying termites come out when there are high humidity and a lot of rain. 

How Can You Tell That You Have Termites?

If there’s a sudden appearance of swarmers inside your house, this is a clear indication that you’ve got a termite infestation. They’re feeding on the house, and you should get a termite inspection immediately.

What to Do If You’ve Got a Termite Infestation

Vigilance is essential for a termite infestation. They can cost you billions of dollars because of the damage they cause. Though treatment is often expensive, it’s better than having your home fall down around you.

Those who just see flying termites in their yard shouldn’t panic. Still, it’s an indication that there could be a problem. Don’t put off getting an inspection by a professional termite control company. 

These professionals know what to look for. For example, the foundation may have mud tubes, which termites use as nests while they eat. Likewise, mud tubes in the house indicate a termite infestation. You’re not likely to see the worker termites because they prefer to stay in damp, dark places, such as underground or in walls.

How Do You Get Flying Termites?

A flying swarm of termites near your house doesn’t always mean you have an infestation. There could be a big colony in the yard or from the neighbor. However, the flying termites could end up mating and starting a colony in your house. It’s best to get an inspection so that you prevent problems and stay on top of it all.

Flying termites could be the queen or king of an established colony. They set out to make a new one. However, they don’t see very well, so they sense wood (food). It’s a good idea to keep any woodpiles away from the house. You should also keep the yard clean and free of debris. That way, you’re more likely to see the swarm. If you work during the day, watch closely for wings in and around your home. These are an indication that termites were present. That way, you can have an inspection to ensure that you don’t have an infestation.


If you see flying termites around the home or yard, this means that there is a colony somewhere. They’re now too large for that same area, so they’re branching out to establish a new colony. 

This doesn’t always indicate an infestation, but it’s possible, and you should consider scheduling a termite inspection.

Alternatively, if you see the wings in your house, it’s likely the termites were or still are in the home. Regardless, it’s important to be vigilant when dealing with termites. If you’re worried because you saw flying termites, an inspection is the best way to ensure that you don’t have an infestation.

If you’re looking for the right team to handle the issue for you, Synergy² is here to help. We provide trusted services throughout the area, so contact us for the best pest control services around.

Feel free to read more about us and decide if Synergy² is the right company for you.  We have over 270 Five-Star Google reviews for pest control service in the Jackson metro area (Jackson/Madison/Brandon/Ridgeland). Check out our newest location reviews for pest control service in Jackson, MS here at Synergy² Jackson Pest Control!
Barry Pitts, Synergy² Owner

Barry Pitts, Synergy² Owner

Pharmacist and Synergy² Pest owner, Barry Pitts, is a long-time Madison, MS resident with a passion for applying advanced scientific pest principles to pest control services in the Jackson metro area.  Combining exceptional customer service with cutting-edge pest control technology allows Synergy² to provide residents of the Jackson metro area with the highest levels of pest control available today.

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