Flying Termites on the Gold Coast?

Are Flying Termites common on the Gold Coast?

Are you discovering a sudden invasion of winged insects within your Gold Coast home? Curious about their identity?

They could be ‘Alates’ - reproductive winged termites!

During the spring and early summer months, the Gold Coast experiences warm and humid nights, creating the ideal environment for reproductive termites to embark on mass flights in search of a mate to establish their own colonies. It’s almost eerie how colonies throughout South East Queensland synchronize their activities for this night of opportunity!

What do Winged Termites look like?

Three things to look out for:

  • Golden body colour - Most flying termites’s bodies are golden brown in colour.
  • Wings – flying termites have equal wing lengths, normally grey in colour. They do shed them once they land, so you might find a pile in your bathroom.
  • Antennae – flying termites have straight antennae, not bent like black ants'.
  • Waist – flying termites have a straight waist like a small cigar. Not pinched waist of flying black ants.

Flight Tubes - Exit Holes

Throughout the winter and autumn seasons, each termite colony has been diligently breeding thousands upon thousands of winged termites, known as Alates. Once they receive the signal, these Alates emerge from exit holes strategically constructed near their nests.

You can spot these exit holes high up in gum trees, resembling small wounds, or on the ground as ‘mud towers’. The higher the exit hole, the better the chances for the winged termites to launch into the air and catch the breeze since they aren’t particularly adept flyers. Essentially, they rely on the wind to carry them wherever it may lead.

Found a Swarm of Insects inside your Home?

What Should I Do If I Find Winged Termites?

Don’t panic!

If you’ve come across winged termites (remember, they might have already shed their wings) in your home, follow these steps:

  1. Collect a few of the winged termites and place them in a sealed plastic bag, then refrigerate them. This will help us accurately identify them as termites and not just ordinary black ants.
  2. Or, take a close-up photo to show us
  3. Now, feel free to grab a can of insect spray and eliminate any termites you see. We understand the urge!

Panic a little if you see this

If you happen to witness winged termites emerging from a hole within your home, it’s time to act urgently! Contact us right away.

For all other situations, we recommend reaching out to us to schedule a comprehensive termite inspection. This will provide you with peace of mind, ensuring there are no termite-related issues in your home or garden.

Some more Interesting Information about Winged Termites

Typically, termites dwell exclusively within their subterranean tunnels underground. However, between November and March, a common sight is the emergence of reproductive termites taking flight, especially in the humid regions of South East Queensland. The high humidity during this season is not just attractive but necessary for their reproductive process.

During this time of year, these termites vacate their nests, which can be found in trees, tree stumps, bushland, and even within homes, to embark on flights and establish new colonies.

All termite species function within a caste system, sharing this trait with ants as their only notable commonality. Among their castes are the winged reproductive alates, often referred to as flying termites. While they can be mistaken for flying ants, distinguishing between them is relatively straightforward.

When a termite colony reaches a certain size and maturity, several thousand reproductive termites undergo wing development in preparation for a once-in-a-lifetime flight. This process can take several months, during which they receive the best nourishment and care.

Once they are fully prepared, and under suitable weather conditions (some swarm after rain, but most do so during highly humid conditions, typically at dusk), thousands upon thousands of them take flight from their nests in the area, primed to establish new colonies.

These winged or flying termites are frequently observed swarming around lights, whether they are streetlights or outdoor lights left on. It is here that they encounter other termites of the same species, also swarming from their respective colonies. After this encounter, the fertilized Alates shed their wings and search for a suitable location to create a nest and initiate a new colony.

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