How to Get Rid of Flying Termites? How to Prevent Infestation? Find out the answers in this informative guide!
Flying termites are more than just a nuisance. Their presence is a telltale sign of a termite problem that needs addressing. Fortunately, with this guide on How to Get Rid of Flying Termites, you can combat these pests easily.
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What are Flying Termites?
Flying termites, also known as alates or swarmers, are the reproductive members of a termite colony. They are characterized by two pairs of equal-length wings and a darker body compared to worker termites. These insects emerge, usually during warm, humid weather, to start new colonies. Attracted to light, they often swarm around windows or light fixtures. After mating, the female finds a suitable spot to lay her eggs, establishing a new colony. While they do not cause direct harm, their presence is a sign of a nearby termite infestation.
How to Identify Flying Termites?
- Equal-Sized Wings: Flying termites have two pairs of wings that are the same length and shape.
- Straight Antennae: Unlike ants, termites have straight, beaded antennae.
- Appearance: Their bodies are usually dark-colored, often black or dark brown.
- Body Shape: Termites have uniform-shaped, tube-like bodies.
- Wing Shedding: Flying termites shed their wings after mating; you may find discarded wings as a sign of their presence.
Signs of Flying Termites Infestation in Home
- Discarded wings near windowsills or light fixtures.
- Swarms of flying insects around your home, especially during warm, humid weather.
- Mud tubes or tunnels on walls, foundations, or wooden surfaces.
- Hollow-sounding or damaged wood.
- Sagging or weakened floors or ceilings.
- Presence of termite swarmers (winged termites) indoors.
- Noticeable damage to furniture or wooden structures.
- Sudden appearance of small holes in woodwork or walls.
- Clicking sounds coming from wooden structures.
How to Get Rid of Flying Termites?
These methods are ideal for minor infestations; a significant termite problem will require professional pest control. Here are a few remedies to try:
1. Orange Oil
According to this study, orange oil is effective against termites thanks to its active ingredient named, d-limonene. When termites come into contact with orange oil, their exoskeleton dissolves, which leads to the disruption of the termite’s cell membranes. This process results in the termites losing vital fluids and eventually dying from desiccation.
- 1-2 Cups of Water
- 1-2 Drops of Dawn Dish Soap
- 8-10 Drops of Orange Essential Oil
- Empty Spray Bottle
- Combine water, dish soap, and orange essential oil in a spray bottle.
- Shake the bottle well before its usage.
- Spray the solution directly on the flying termites.
- You’ll notice the result instantly.
If you want to use orange oil to eliminate a termite colony, try the below steps:
- Locate the areas where you suspect termite activity. Look for mud tubes, damaged wood, or visible signs of termites.
- Create small holes in the infested wood using a drill.
- Fill the holes with undiluted orange oil using an injection syringe. The goal is to saturate the infested wood with the oil.
- This hack kills the majority of termites instantly by direct contact.
2. Use White Vinegar to Get Rid of Flying Termites
White vinegar is another effective method to control the population of flying termites and other termite species. Its acidic property eliminates these wood-damaging creatures.
- White Vinegar
- Empty Spray Bottle or Garden Sprayer
- Small Funnel
- Mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
- Jiggle the bottle for a few moments.
- Now, spritz the prepared mix directly on the flying termites.
- This homemade solution will kill them on the spot.
3. Beneficial Nematodes
Beneficial nematodes, or Steinernema carpocapsae, is a natural and safe pest control solution against subterranean termites. You have to target the nests with nematodes to get rid of flying termites. Here’s how you can use them:
- Beneficial Nematodes
- Garden Sprayer
- Small Funnel
- Follow the package instructions to make the beneficial nematodes and water solution.
- Transfer the prepared solution to the garden sprayer and shake it a bit.
- Once you’re done, spray the termites-infested wood and soil.
- Nematodes require moist conditions to move through the soil and find their hosts. Water the treated areas regularly.
- The termites will disappear within a week. If the infestation persists, redo this hack.
4. Boric Acid
Boric acid is what you need to get rid of flying termites from your property. It works only when the flying termites come into contact with boric acid. After passing through the boric acid spray, its particles adhere to their bodies. When termites groom themselves or each other, they ingest the boric acid in this process. Once consumed, it disrupts their bodily functions, causing dehydration and death.
- 3 Teaspoons of Boric acid
- 2-3 Cups of Warm water
- Spray Bottle
- Prepare the termite removal solution by mixing boric acid and water in a spray bottle. Shake it well until the boric acid dissolves completely.
- Next, drill the holes in the infested wood.
- After that, fill the holes with the boric acid solution. Don’t forget to spritz the solution directly on the flying termites.
- Reapply this solution regularly, and you’ll notice the results in 5-7 days.
Note – Alternatively, you can dust a generous amount of boric acid on the winged termites’ nest and wait to see the results.
5. Soapy Water
The soapy water method kills termites by exploiting their biological makeup. Termites, like most insects, breathe through a series of small tubes called spiracles. When a termite comes into contact with soapy water, the soap creates a thin film that blocks these spiracles, suffocating the insect.
- 3-5 Drops of Liquid Dish Soap
- 2 Cups of Water
- Empty Spray Bottle
- Small Funnel
- Add liquid dish soap and water in a spray bottle using a small funnel.
- Spritz the soapy water directly on the flying termites. Make sure to get as many as possible.
- If more flying termites appear, repeat the process as necessary.
- Afterward, clean up the dead termites with a vacuum cleaner or a broom and dustpan.
6. Neem Oil
A potent natural pesticide, neem oil is an effective product to get rid of flying termites and worker termites.
- 1-2 Teaspoons of Neem Oil
- 3 Cups of Water
- 2-3 Drops of Dish Soap
- Spray Bottle
- Combine neem oil, dish soap, and water in a spray bottle.
- Using a funnel, pour the solution into a spray bottle.
- Shake the bottle a bit and spritz the mix on the winged termites, their nests, and infested wood.
- To ensure effectiveness, repeat this treatment every couple of days.
Safety Precautions to Consider
Follow the below safety precautions while using the above home remedies for flying termites:
- Wear protective gloves and a mask when eliminating winged termites with the above hacks.
- Ensure proper ventilation in the area where you are applying these substances. Open windows or use fans to circulate fresh air and minimize any buildup of fumes.
- Avoid contact with eyes and mouth. In case of accidental contact, rinse the affected area thoroughly with water.
- Store these substances in a secure location away from the reach of children and pets. Remember that they are toxic if ingested or misused.
Are Flying Termites Attracted to Light?
Yes, just like other bugs, flying termites are attracted to light. This is why they are often found swarming around windows and light fixtures, particularly during their mating season. Sometimes, they can even enter your home in large numbers. If you ever find yourself in this situation, switch off all the lights, and open the doors and windows.
How to Prevent Flying Termites From Coming Back?
Preventing flying termites begins with proactive measures to make your home less attractive to them. Here are some steps you can take:
- Eliminate Moisture: Termites are attracted to moisture, so fix any leaky pipes or faucets. Ensure proper drainage around your home, and use dehumidifiers in damp areas.
- Remove Dead Wood: Get rid of any decaying wood around your property, including old tree stumps and firewood piles. These are prime breeding grounds for termites.
- Regular Inspections: Regularly check the exterior and interior of your home for signs of termites, like mud tubes, hollow-sounding wood, or discarded wings.
- Seal Entry Points: Seal any cracks and crevices in your home’s foundation, windows, or doors where termites could enter.
- Proper Ventilation: Ensure crawl spaces and attics are well-ventilated to reduce humidity levels, making these areas less inviting to termites.
- Treat Wood: If you’re building or renovating, consider using termite-resistant wood or treating wood with termite-prevention chemicals.
- Install Screens: Use screens on windows and doors to prevent the entrance of flying termites.
How to Get Rid of Flying Termites: Conclusion
The swarm of flying termites is not just annoying but a sign of a potential termite infestation. That’s why address this issue promptly with the above cheap and non-toxic home remedies.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Should I Worry About Flying Termites?
Yes, it’s advisable to be concerned about flying termites. The presence of these winged insects indicates an active colony nearby. While flying termites themselves do not cause direct harm, they are a sign of potential structural damage to your property. Termites feed on wood and other cellulose materials, compromising the integrity of buildings.
2. Can Flying Termites Cause Damage?
Flying termites don’t cause any harm, but their offspring, the worker termites, can harm structures and wooden items.
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