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Do Termites Fly?

March 27, 2020

reproductive termites swarming in order to produce

A simple question, do termites fly?

The answer however, is not quite as clear as you may like. Our response to said query is yes… and no. To expand a bit, not all termites fly but there are members of a termite colony that will spread their wings and… you guessed it – fly!


The termite colony

According to the entomology department at the University of Florida, a single subterranean termite colony may house anywhere from 100,000 to 1,000,000 termites.  That’s a lot of bugs in one nest; you’d think there might be fighting but in reality, every member of the colony knows its function and benefits the colony in one way or another. 

Every termite colony contains three primary castes; soldiers, workers, and reproductives.



As their name would suggest, soldiers are defenders of the colony. They protect against enemies like ants (yes, they have ant problems too) and do so without the ability to see.  You might think blind insects are easily overtaken but termite soldiers have large mandibles that they use to kill their enemies. Lack of sight or the ability to feed themselves does not stop termite soldiers from doing their job in the colony.

But termite soldiers do not fly.



Termite workers are responsible for performing all the work in the colony. They make repairs on the colony, build tunnels, and procure food as well as feed, groom and care for the young.  In addition to those responsibilities, older and more experienced workers forage and build nests. 

Workers are the caste many of us are familiar with. That’s because we’ve found them in our homes and in the soil around the foundation as well as elsewhere on our properties. They are the ones responsible for the termite damage we’ve uncovered. They are the termite infestation we dread.

But termite workers do not fly.


As you may have guessed, the reproductive are the termites responsible for growing the colony.  Male and female reproductives mate in order to produce eggs that eventually become workers, soldiers, and reproductives.

Mature termite colonies will send out a large number of reproductives, also known as alates, on a short flight to find a mate. Did you notice, the word flight? That’s because termite reproductives are winged termites.

Reproductives fly.


More on flying termites

When winged termites take to the sky, this phenom is called a termite swarm.  Here in New Jersey, termites typically start swarming around March. It is also common to witness termite swarms in April and again in June, depending on the weather and your type of home.  For example, if you have a slab home, you may see termites swarming anytime. If your home sits on a basement, you may see termites swarming in April.  Termites also swarm in June in our part of the country.


The location of the swarm is very important

Termite swarms occur in two places – outside and inside.

If you notice a termite swarm occurring on your property, that means a termite colony is nearby. It does not necessarily mean the colony is on your property or that you have a termite problem on your hands.  It is a good idea to call a local termite control company to schedule a termite inspection. You cannot be too careful when it comes to these destructive pests.

Now, if you notice winged termites inside your home or discover discarded wings around windowsills and on the floor, there is cause for concern. If a termite swarm takes place inside then you definitely have a termite problem and you should seek help right away in order to stop the termite damage from growing.


Arrow Pest Control offers comprehensive termite treatments

At Arrow, we’ve been offering New Jersey homeowners with termite protection for over 40 years and proudly service Montclair, South Orange, and all of Essex County as well as several New Jersey counties.

When you contact Arrow for termite control, we’ll start with a thorough inspection to determine if termites are present, and if so, how severe the problem is.  We’ll also identify termite damage, conducive conditions, and how they’re getting in.

Upon completion of your termite inspection, we’ll explain our findings and make recommendations for termite treatment.

Termite infestations can be stressful, not to mention costly if you allow these wood destroying pests to carry on.  If you’ve witnessed a termite swarm or simply want to make sure your home is protected against termites, please reach out to us today!


Tags: termite control in nj | termite swarms | termite damage |

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