Flying Alates: What Are They and What to Do if You See Them

What Are Flying Termite Alates?

Termite colonies contain adult termites belonging to three different castes – workers, soldiers, and reproductives.

Termite ‘alates’ or flying termites are the reproductive members of a termite colony. An alate ‘flight’ is when these winged termites take flight from the colony looking to establish a new colony. The emergence of flying alates signifies the termite mating season and typically occurs twice per year, often triggered by environmental factors such as temperature and humidity. This synchronized ‘flight’ is essential for their survival and the continuation of the termite colony. Termite alates are easily distinguishable from worker termites as they have wings, dark-coloured bodies, and antennae.

Identifying Flying Termites – The Differences between Ant Alates and Termite Alates

Ants have a similar biology, so ant alates exist and demonstrate behaviour similar to termites. Ant alates are often confused with termite alates as they are similar in appearance, but they have several notable differences:

  • Wings - Ant alates have uneven-sized wings, with larger front wings and smaller hind wings, while termite alates possess two pairs of wings of equal length.
  • Shape - Ant alates have a pinched waist, whereas termite alates have a ‘straight’ body.
  • Antennae - Ant alates have elbowed antennae, while termite alates have straight, bead-like antennae.
  • Colour - Ant alates come in a variety of colours, whereas termite alates are usually dark brown or black.
  • Termite Alates Shed their Wings – After mating, termite alates shed their wings whereas ant alates retain their wings.
Differences between Ant Alates and Termite Alates

The differences are important and if you see alates at your place, take a photo to show your pest control technician as they will be able to easily identify them.

What Do I Do If I See Flying Termites?

Whilst alates do not pose a direct threat to humans or property, they are a clear indication that termites are nearby and on the lookout for a new home.

Alates need for several things to happen before they can establish a new colony. They need for a king and queen to find each other and mate, and they need to find a suitable place to set up a new colony.

There is not much you can do to get rid of flying termites, as they don’t live very long and the flight is over and done with pretty quickly. The best thing that you can do to protect your property is to have a professional termite inspection done regularly by a qualified pest control company.

Get a Free Termite Assessment

A Free Termite Assessment includes a visit from one of our qualified technicians at your property to look for visible signs of termite activity, discuss your concerns and your property's termite history, and provide you with some options as to what to do next to enable you to make an informed decision about how to protect your property from termite attack.

Following your Assessment, you can book in a termite treatment OR send our technician on their way until you're ready to book in, but you will be armed with all of the information for when you're ready to make a booking. You've got nothing to lose and don't worry, we won't pressure you after we've been.

* Please note A Free Termite Assessment is NOT a full inspection.

You have nothing to lose because it is free, and you will have peace of mind knowing that the termite alates that you have seen haven’t set up a colony on your property.

You can book online by clicking the Book a Time Now button on the top right of this page or you can give us a call on 1300 65 65 72. Depending on whether we have a technician in your area, we can be at your place within one business day.

Suburban Pest Management are Experts in Termite Prevention

At Suburban, we specialise in termite detection and prevention. Our experienced team of experts is equipped with the knowledge and tools to assess your property's risk, detect any existing infestations, and provide effective solutions tailored to your specific needs.

Understanding the risks termites pose is crucial for property owners. By implementing termite protection and seeking professional assistance when necessary, you can protect your property from the destructive effects of termites.

So to experience the Suburban difference, book a Free Termite Assessment online or give us a call on 1300 65 65 72 today.

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