Termite Flights Are Here – Make Sure Home is Safe!

termite alate, termite flights, termite control, termite inspectionsTermite Flights are happening – What should you know?

After the recent storms termite colonies are on the move.

You might see some ‘crash landings’ on your car windscreen or mirrors in the morning.

What does this mean?

It means that there are termite colonies in your immediate vicinity – and these ‘flying termites’ are looking for a new home.

This type of weather means the flight of the termite re-productives – youngsters out to party and set up home away from mum, dad and 1,000,000 siblings!

Meet the Alate (or De-alate)

If you encounter one of these types of insects (as per the picture), it’s known in the industry as an ‘alate‘ – or in other words…

An ‘alate‘ is a juvenile reproductive termite trying to spread its wings, find a partner, and settle down to start a new family of a few hundred thousand kids or so (aaarrrggghhh).

An interesting fact is that once they land (if they survive), they voluntarily snap off their wings.  Now we call these ‘de-alates‘ (are you still with me?).

Even though they may swarm in their hundreds, very few alates, if any, survive the flight.

Given that they are poor fliers, they often fall prey to the environment, birds, lizards, spiders and the occasional windscreen.

Time to start a family

If a couple do make it to ground and find each other among the frenzied activity, they will attempt to start a colony in a suitable location.

The mating pair now become the king and queen of the new colony.

The king does not change shape after mating (in fact he’s not needed that much anymore).

The Queen on the other hand sees some big changes. Her abdomen (bottom) swells, she gets less mobile, and becomes a huge egg-laying machine.

What should you do if you find termite alates?

What does this mean for you?

Should you panic if you find termite alates strewn all over your car or in the spider webs around your house?

Sadly I can’t give you a definite yes or no.

The fact that you have had a swarm of alates means that termites are active and breeding in your area.

If they land and find a suitable place to breed, they will start a new colony.

The threat is always there!

You need to make sure that you don’t have environmental conditions around your home that would encourage termites to stay and breed.

In later posts, I’ll talk about things that you can do make life a bit less friendly for termites who want to cross your fence-line.

BEWARE – just like the sign in the mirror says – the termites “May Be Closer Than You Think”!

If in doubt – get a pest controller out!

Don’t just get a ‘termite check’.  Get a proper Timber Pest Inspection in accordance with the Australian Standard AS4349.3.

The only way to minimise your risk is to get a full Timber Pest Inspection (or termite inspection) by a qualified timber pest technician.

How can I choose the right pest controller for a termite inspection?

 

In the meantime…

  • Have you seen any termite flights?

  • Do you have any termite stories or pictures to share?

  • Do you want to know more about termites?

I’d love to hear from you…

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