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Article posted on March 01, 2022

Flying Termites – What do they look like?

How to get rid of flying termites?

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As the season changes from winter into spring and summer, and the humidity levels begin to rise, so does the increase risk of a termite infestation within your home.  Subterranean termites are able to build colonies in the underground in order to infiltrate your property and cause damage of mass destruction – causing more damage to homes in Australia than fire, floods and storms combined. Known as the ‘silent destroyers’ termites are able to hide away for years, silently munching away at your much-loved home.  Given the chance, the subterranean termite will eat your home to the ground.

One key factor to be on the lookout for in regards to a termite infestation is the presence of flying termites swarming in large clusters.  One of the triggers of a termite swarms is the combination of the increase in temperature with a heavy rain fall.

If you see swarms of flying termites around your home, it should alert you as a warning sign of two potential dangers: that you already have an existing termite issue; or your home is at risk from a potential infestation of termites.

If you see flying termites around your property – call a professional termite inspector as soon as possible.


Flying termites are usually light gold in colour and usually have six legs. They have two tiny antennae which are most often straight with a slight curve to them, and can normally be identified by their thick body which is made of only one part.  They have two large, translucent wings on either side of their body, sometimes as large as 3 centimetres per wing and have a veiny appearance.

The flying termite can be found all over the Australia. Warm conditions are ideal for termite colonies as they prefer an average temperature of 25-28 degrees.  In Australia as the summer season approaches, the tropical downpours are the perfect breeding ground for termites.  A termite colony is made up of three groups and the subterranean termite is the type of that species which is able to develop wings and fly.  This group of termite is the only able to develop sexually and become the future queens and kings of the next season’s termite colonies.

flying termite looks like image

At the peak time of the day, during the hottest hour, the termites will fly out of their colony in the millions.  A common misconception is that termites are grounded pests but all of the subterranean termites fly out of the colony to which point the vast majority who don’t become the future kings and queens, lose their wings to become worker or soldier termites.

A swarm of termites flying towards your house has the potential to land 50,000 of them at one time however, generally only around 10 percent of those termites will successfully find a mate and be able to start a new colony.


Flying termites are commonly mistaken for flying ants and although at first glance, they do appear similar in size, shape and colour, there are some notable differences to be on the lookout for.  The main difference between a flying termite and that of the ant are the wings.  All four wings on the termite are of equal length and width, whereas the two top wings on the flying ant are usually double the size of the bottom two wings.  The antennae of the ant bend at a 90-degree angle as opposed to the flying termite, which has a straight antenna with a very slight bend at the end.

Ants are darker in colour than termites which usually a light beige/golden colour with translucent, veiny wings.  The body of the flying termite is slightly bigger than the flying ant by around 2-3 millimetres and are made of only two parts: the head and body, as opposed to ants which are divided into three parts of a head, body and tail.

flying ants vs flying termites image


Like most flying insects and pests, termites are very attracted to all sources of light.  They are particularly drawn to straight lighting and you may see termites in the millions swarming around it.  They’ll often come into a home and sometimes fly down through a down light by the thousands.

This can be quite distressing for the homeowner but the best thing to do should you find yourself in this situation, is to turn off all of your lights (including any outside lighting), open all your doors and windows and the termites should fly out of your home as quickly as they entered it.

The worst possible thing you can do is attack the termites with a can of insect spray as it is pointless and you be wasting precious time.  You want to get the termites out of the house as quickly as possible before they can drop their wings.


The flying subterranean termite is very difficult to treat and your best plan of attack is one of defence. Having your house protected with a termite system and protection barrier will help prevent termites from burrowing underground and building a colony. Without this protection, termites are able to burrow underground and find a mate.  Once the queen termite reproduces, she is capable of laying over 30,000 eggs a day.  At that rate you could have a thriving colony under your house and over the course of one or two weeks, those termites will be in your house, causing mass destruction by silently eating away at your home.

This nightmare scenario can easily be avoided by taking the necessary precautions and calling a trained pest control expert for an inspection and to install a perimeter termite barrier around your property.

chemical termite barrier image


While there’s nothing you can do to stop flying termites from swarming onto your property, there are some precautions you can take to reduce the opportunities for a flying subterranean termite from flying into your house.

The first thing is to have screens installed on your windows and doors, making sure they stay free of holes and tears in the fabric.  It’s important to be aware of the amount of moisture in your home and do what you can to reduce those levels at all times. Termites absolutely thrive in water and damp areas and it’s very common for homeowners to discover termite issues during periods when they’ve had plumbing problems such as, bathroom leaks or for homes built on steep blocks up against high moisture areas.

If you haven’t fixed that broken washer tap for the past few months and a flying termite finds that moist soil and burrows down, you’ll have a potential termite colony building on the side of your house. Keeping mulch and any other untreated wood off the side of your house and ensuring that you keep basements and attics dry and well-ventilated are other ways of keeping flying termites from your house.

It’s also worth considering your outside lighting source which can be both negative and positive in relation to flying termites.  On the one hand the light source will attract termites but on the other, that in itself will alert you to the fact that termites are beginning to colonise and it’s time for you to get an inspection.

Keeping up good housekeeping and maintenance around the house all helps in the fight against termite infestations when combined with the recommended annual inspections and perimeter barrier protection.


Pest-Ex have been providing termite treatment services since 2006 and have more than 7,000 happy customers. We’re also –

  • We are fully insured and licensed
  • Our pest controllers are among the most experienced and qualified in the pest control industry
  • We only use environmentally friendly products, and are dedicated to providing pest control solutions that are safe for the local fauna and flora
  • We are flexible, and can work in residential, commercial and industrial properties

Talk to Pest Ex today for all your termite management and protection services – we look forward to hearing from you!

Our focus areas include Brisbane, Gold Coast, Tweet Heads & Logan.

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Kent Bailey
11 months ago
Just had my home barrier treatment for termites by Pest Ex. In every way a brilliant job and fantastic friendly service unlike...read more anything else I have struck on the Gold Coast. This is a very professional company and every person involved was excellent in every way. Strongly recommend them to all who read this review because you won't do better.
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2 years ago
Very professional and able to identify our pest problem on the spot. Was on time and great communication with admin girls via...read more phone. Very conscious of keeping our pet safe after the treatment which was a classy touch. Highly recommend!
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6 months ago
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a year ago
Thank you to Garyn who first identified the issues, he was extremely thorough and prompt and then to John and Janine and...read more the team who treated and area and placed the baits. The process was fully explained and they were extremely courteous and very professional. Thank you to all the team. The office also kept us up to date with when their representatives would be visiting and this is very much appreciated. Great work.
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a year ago
After reading reviews, I'm glad that I chose Pest-Ex. Maria in the office was more than understanding to accommodate me and times....read more I was able to get a booking the same day I made the enquiry. Garyn my technician was even able to come earlier. When he arrived he was happy to explain everything that was going to happen and how to work around my pets and children. Need pest control done - hire these guys.
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2 years ago
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a year ago
This company actually investigates the problem instead of just spraying your place and leaving. Very HIGH knowledge and experience in what they...read more do. They took the time to investigate the cause, the source of the problem and elimnated it completely which included going through every cupboard, cracks hiding spots the lot. We had a cochroach problem in our apartment for 3 months and we had 4 different companies come out and NONE of them investigated they only sprayed. After we called PestEx, Mr. Phillips was very knowledgeable and experienced eliminating our problem entirely. We also use PestEx in our shop and both Mr Phillips and Marty are EXCELLENT in resolving and maintaining pest problems. HIGHLY RECOMMEND PEST EX. BEST I'VE SEEN IN QUEENSLAND.