Summer is a termite’s favourite time of the year. Hot days, humid nights – the perfect conditions for termites to venture off and start a new colony.
If you’re seeing flying ants, they’re probably termites and it means that there is a termite nest close to you.
Termites take flight!
Each year, a large percentage of a termite colony will develop wings, with the sole purpose of finding a site to build a new nest and start a new colony. These winged termites are called alates. They have four wings of equal size, and two parts to their bodies – a head and a long abdomen – around 8-12mm in length. The colour can range anywhere from cream to dark brown.
A flight typically happens late in the afternoon, often before a storm or heavy rain event when the humidity lifts dramatically. Alates have a graceful, yet slightly awkward, flight. They will be attracted to outside lights and can often be seen swarming around them. When they land, they de-alate, or drop their wings. Even if you don’t see any flying termites, you may see their long wings in spider webs and around areas near lights.
Finding the perfect home to start a new family
Alates are looking for food, moisture and a place to nest. Damp or decaying timbers, timber retaining walls and old tree stumps can all be suitable.
When they find a suitable area, the queen will start laying eggs and building up her colony. Depending on the termite species and conditions, it generally takes 5-7 years to build up a colony with sufficient numbers to cause major damage to our homes.
Keep a lookout!
This emergence of flying termites, or alates, is nature’s way of reminding us to be vigilant in maintaining termite protection around our homes. If you see flying termites around your home, it means that you are living close to an existing termite colony.
A termite inspection at least once a year is the first step to ensuring your home remains termite free.
For a free quote, call us today on 1300 668 303.