Flying Termites in Melbourne
Just like other mainland Australian towns, Melbourne has its fair share of termites, including species that can cause severe damage to buildings-and yes, flying termites do exist!
So, if you are reading this article because you have seen flying termites or are preparing for them, then keep reading for advice and explanation on how to best deal with them.
Today, we will answer some frequently asked questions on flying termites which include:
Why are termites so common in Melbourne suburbs?
Termites live in large colonies, which are often hidden inside trees, or just under the ground or building. In Melbourne the traditional mud mounds have been removed by concerned people, and termites have become secretive- but they are still common in most Melbourne suburbs, including the Mornington Peninsular. The colonies can live for 20 years plus, often with the very same Queen (and King) which becomes a bloated egg laying mother. The colonies work underground in a network of tunnels, feeding by hollowing out nearby trees and logs. Unfortunately, the timbers in a typical Melbourne home suit the termite appetite very well, and expensive damage is common.
Why do termites fly?
While most of these termites living underground are workers and soldiers which are blind and wingless and without gender, each year a colony will develop a reproductive caste of male and female termites which grow large, have eyes, wings and a dark pigmented skin.
This group of ‘hopeful’ Queens and Kings separate from the main colony, often massing higher inside a tree or (for the unlucky) higher inside a wall cavity of a building. And they wait there. They wait until the time is just right outside in the world which they have never seen before. They wait until a humid early evening or morning, when it is warm but not hot, often just after a rain shower. In Melbourne, termites often begin to flying during the few weeks after the clocks change and leading up to the Melbourne Cup (late October, early November).
But it happens more of less simultaneously right across the city- perhaps triggered by a drop in the breeze – but they start in streams of flying termites pouring out of trees, fence posts, infested buildings and landscaping features. They do not swarm in a bunch like bees- but the sky overhead becomes gradually dotted with clumsy insects floating apparently aimlessly with the breeze. They land in your hair, in the pool, on your car- but the lucky few will land on an old tree stump or log and pair up into new Kings and Queens to form new termite colonies.
To see our short video of flying termites in Melbourne click this link https://fb.watch/g5MWQ_XIWe/
Do flying termites bite or sting?
Flying termites will not sting or bite and are harmless. If you see them outside in the garden- that is normal in Melbourne, but you may have to fish hundreds of dead ones from your pool. They are a helpful reminder that we live in termite country and should routinely have our buildings inspected by termite specialists. The Australian Standard recommends inspections at least every 12 months.
If termites fly into my home through a window, will they eat my wood?
No, flying termites cannot infest of damage your home. They will die overnight. Other than having routine termite inspections every year, you need not be concerned about termites which may fly into your home from outside.
What should I do if flying termites are coming out of the walls or wood inside my house?
This is more serious and scary, but don’t panic! Follow the following steps and we can ensure the termite issue is contained in no time:
- Contain the termites to avoid a mess throughout the house.
- Close the door of the room they are flying from.
- Turn off any light in that room.
- Open the curtains/ blinds so the termites are attracted to the light from the window.
- Turn on any outside light that attracts them to the window.
You should expect them all to be dead by the morning- hopefully mostly on the windowsill.
- Do not spray them or disturb them or open up any papery timber you might notice. There is no point trying to stop them exiting the timber with tape etc. Let them come out. The flying termites will not harm your house- they will all die by the morning.
- Your home has a termite infestation which must be treated.
- Do not worry- treatment is effective. Don’t touch- you need a termite specialist to come and prescribe the best termite treatment. Yes- it is another expense- but professional treatment is essential to avoid major damage to your building.
- Ensure your termite specialist does the following:
- A visit to your building to investigate the infestation and hopefully establish likely entry routes, and perhaps the location of the colony nest and the prospects for effective treatment such as termite baiting or having a ‘Termite barrier, applied around your building.
- You should be given a written ‘termite management plan’ which describes in plain speak what treatment is recommended including the need for any changes to the building or landscaping detail that may be required. It is usually not just bad luck to be attacked by termites, so ‘conducive’ conditions, such as bad ventilation may need to be addressed by owners as well as treatment by termite specialists.
- If you accept the written Proposal from your specialist, it is likely that the first thing to be provided will be a thorough termite inspection of the building and nearby landscaping presented in a written report. The result of the inspection may call for adjustments from the initial Proposal.
- You should be told, in writing, what the prospects are for achieving control of the current infestation, and also what are the longer-term prospects of protecting the building into the future.
With more than 25 years experience, contact Specialist Termite Control today on 1300 69 59 49 or fill in the contact form to get rid of these scary pests right away!
Want more info? Watch our tips on how to deal with flying termites today: