Coming home from a long day and you see a winged bug flying around. Looking at it up close, it looks like a flying ant. However, it is not an ant but in fact a flying termite.! No one likes to have pests in their home and one of the worst is termites as they can cause so much structural damage to a home. Taking care of them quickly is key. Wondering how to get rid of flying termites? You can use rubber or cedar mulch, orange oil, or boric acid to name a few.
Let’s take a look.
What Is A Flying Termite?
Measuring 0.25″ up to 0.375″, a flying termite has a black body and two pairs of wings that are gray to white. Many of the flying termites have wings that are gray or white. They also are darker in color than worker termites. Additionally, their bodies are white, small, and soft.
How Do They Get Inside My Home?
There are different ways that flying termites can get into the home.
Termites can get in through:
- Cracks in the foundation
- Low foundation footings or walls
- Brick veneer if the bond fails
- Flower planters that are near the walls of the foundation
Porch, Posts, and Trellis Areas
- Through an earth-filled porch
- Porch steps are close to the ground allowing access for termites
- Trellis touches the soil
- Posts of the home are in concrete
Other Exterior Areas
- Pipes or faucets that leak
- Shrubs near air vents
- Wood debris around the home or underneath it
- Heating unit is obstructed
- Siding or stucco that goes all the way to the soil
How Do I Know If I Have A Flying Termite Infestation?
You want to know the warning signs if there are more of this winged pest in the home so you can get rid of flying termites. Let’s take a look at the signs of an infestation.
- Wood Flooring Has Blisters – this is usually a sign that there are termites deep inside the floor.
- Wood Has Damage Or Is Hollow – termites like to chew wood and then they make a hollow cavity. This is because they like the cellulose in wood.
- Mud Tubes – these often appear near a food source for the termite. Places such as a tree or shed or where the home meets the ground surface. This is because the subterranean termites are underground dwellers but do move up to the surface trying to find wooden structures.
- Broken or Fallen Wings – this is a sign that there is a swarm. You will often see these at an access point such as doors and windows.
- Drywood Termite Droppings – Drywood termite does not fly and lives inside the wood. They eat through wood and then a tunnel forms and then galleries form. Their excrement passes through and forms into piles of pellets that look like sawdust or coffee grounds.
- Peeling Paint – paint starts to bubble or peel when termites damage the drywall and moisture is able to make it in.
How Do I Get Rid Of Them?
Now that you know you have flying termites in your home, it is time to get rid of them or repel them. It is important to have this control over the termites.
1. Rubber Mulch and Cedar Mulch
Since rubber mulch comes from tires that are recycled, the subterranean termites aren’t attracted to it and will stay away from the home. Cedar mulch is not something that these termites like either as they don’t like the colors or resins that are in the mulch. You can use cedar mulch around the home instead of organic soil.
2. Orange Oil
Oranges have a citrus scent and the scent comes from a compound that is dangerous to termites. Orange oil poured into a spray bottle can be sprayed on winged termites that are flying, grounded, and drywood. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work on subterranean termites.
3. Boric Acid
This is a powder that you can sprinkle around the home where you see termite activity. It will help control any of the flying termites you have and also keep new ones from coming out. You will need to do this weekly and also right after it rains. Another idea is to sprinkle it around the home so you create a barrier around the windows, basement vents, pet doors, deck, or patio. Make sure to keep it away from plants and keep pets and children away as well.
4. Diatomaceous Earth
This is a powder as well and can kill the termites. This is because it will penetrate the exoskeleton and dehydrate the body.
5. Beneficial Nematodes
These are worms that are microscopic and like parasites. When a termite eats one, it goes into the digestive system and releases bacteria, killing the host. If these are in the soil in a termite colony they may be very effective in killing the termites. Another idea is a bug zapper but that only works for killing a few.
What Do I Do To Keep Them Away?
If you find swarmers in your house, you likely have a colony. It is a good idea to seek out a termite inspection if you don’t have one done already. To keep termites away, there are a few things that you can do:
- Keep firewood stored away from the home.
- Mulch should be four inches away from the homes foundation and there needs to be four inches of foundation visible.
- Drainage systems need to be maintained and rainwater needs to be directed away from the home and into. other parts of the yard.
- If you have any leaks or moisture, make sure to repair the leaks and remember to get rid of tasks and moisture.
Other Recommended Maintenance
Now that you know about flying termites, let’s take a look at other areas of recommended maintenance for pests. One of those is how long termite treatment last. Well, if you use liquid bait, it can last for five years. This involves a company digging a trench to put the liquid treatment in and it creates a barrier. Another kind of treatment is termite bait stations and these need to be monitored every year.
Next, when thinking about your garden and yard, many people choose to use mulch. Many homeowners worry though that mulch will attract termites. Some mulch, like rubber mulch, repels termites. On the other hand, cypress sapwood, loblolly pine, and slash pine attract termites. Mulch always looks nice and is very affordable and a good choice for landscaping.
Lastly, earwigs can be a nuisance and some homeowners will use coffee grounds to repel them. This works some of the time, but the good news is that the coffee grounds won’t hurt children or pets as it doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals so it is worth trying.
When Do I Call A Professional?
Termites are not something you want to play with inside a home. They will destroy the structure of the home and you will be left with nothing. If you suspect you have them in your home, ordering a termite inspection is a great idea! A professional knows where they are and the best methods to get rid of them. You will want to also think about how to protect your home from termites for long term and consulting a pest inspection specialist is the way to go.
Termites are not something to mess with and you want to protect your home as it is probably the most expensive investment you will ever have. There are different ways to get rid of termites if you have them in the home and often you will need a professional to help. Winged termites or not, they are destructive and you will need to protect your investment and family. Reach out to Fox Mountain Property Inspections for a termite inspection during a full home inspection in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia states.