How To Identify Termites With Wings: West Palm Beach Termites

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Termites are destructive insects that can invade your home and property. So, how to identify termites with wings? When termites swarm, they will be accompanied by alates. That is the male and female flying termites. If you see winged insects in your home, it is important to investigate and determine if they are termites. 

In this article, you will see how to identify termites with wings and different winged termite species. 

How to identify Termites With Wings? (What do termite wings look like?)

Winged termite

Termites with wings can be identified by their two pairs of wings. The wings are the same size and are white with a veiny appearance.

The size and color of the insect will vary depending on the species. There is a fontanelle (frontal gland pore) present that is distinct. It opens towards to front of the head.

Most people know what termites look like but are unsure how to identify their wings. Termites have two dark and heavily sclerotized veins on their front wing, translucent and densely covered with hairs.

The front wing scale is larger than the hind wing scale. Termite profile with wings helps different body functions and shifts forms to enter places like mud tubes and barriers. 

Winged termites are a sign that there is an infestation. Not all termites have wings. But when they swarm, the colony grows and looks for new ground to start a colony.

Swarming termites do not bite people. They are not known to cause any health problems. But they can seriously damage homes and other buildings if left untreated.

When termites swarm, they will be looking for new places to form colonies. Your home might fit the description of an inhabitable home for them if it has: leaky roofs, cracks in exterior walls, moist wood, high humidity levels, and accessible food sources.

The best time to identify termites is during their swarming season. It usually lasts 30 minutes to one hour.

Preventing termites from entering your home is the best to avoid an infestation. If you see a swarm, don’t panic!

However, termites can enter when you have to stop leaving your doors and windows open during certain times of the year. Termite season is typically from March to November. So be mindful of opening your house to fresh air.

Types of termites with wings

Asian Subterranean Termite

The Asian subterranean termite is a different color than regular termites. They are typically dark brown or black, making them difficult to identify.

This type of termite is found in areas ranging from West Palm Beach to Key West, Florida. They pose a serious risk to homes. As they can quickly damage the structure and lead to extensive repairs.

West Indian Drywood Termites

The West Indian Drywood Termite is a termite that thrives in dry, woody environments. In one year, they can form colonies of several million termites.

They are most active from March to August. And this is when they swarm. It is one of the most invasive species of termites. It can cause significant damage to homes and businesses.

Formosan Subterranean Termite

The Formosan termite is an invasive species known for causing a lot of damage. They swarm from March through June. And it can be identified by their wings. They are often mistaken for regular subterranean termites, but a few key distinctions exist.

Dark Southeastern Subterranean Termite

Termites are a common pest found in Florida and other parts of the southeastern United States. Several different termites are, but the dark-colored subterranean termite is the most common. These termites swarm from October through June, and their black wings can identify them.

Light Southeastern Subterranean Termite

Termites with wings, also known as swarmers, signify that you may have a termite infestation. While all subterranean termites can swarm, light southeastern subterranean termites are the most common type in Florida.

They are not less destructive than other subterranean termites. It should be taken just as seriously.

Homeowners should be more cautious of and combat Drywood Termites, rare in Florida but can cause serious damage. They set out for a new colony anytime from November to February.

Eastern Subterranean Termite

The Eastern Subterranean Termite is one of the smaller and darker-colored species of termites. They are most commonly found in the Northeastern United States.

The swarm season for these termites begins in mid-spring and ends towards summer. It will help if you control some months over others, specifically from November through May.

Southeastern Florida Drywood Termites

South Florida is a hotspot for drywood termites. These termites can be found all year round. 

But they are most commonly seen in the spring, from March through September. If you live in this area, it is important to be proactive. And take active steps to protect your home, wood furniture, and woods found in the house foundation.

Do all termites have wings?

Do all termites have wings?

Subterranean, drywood, and Formosan termites are three types of termites that you may come across in the United States. Of these, only the subterranean termite has wings. The swarmer or reproductive caste of the subterranean termite is easily identifiable.

Because they have two pairs of wings equal in size. It is most likely a Formosan termite if you see what looks like a flying ant.

Signs of Termite Infestation

Signs of Termite Infestation

Clicking Sounds

Termites can cause soft clicking noises as they move around and chew on the wood in your home. The main culprit for most sounds of termites chewing away at woodwork is, unsurprisingly, termites.

If you listen closely and place your ear close to the wood in that area in your home, you might hear a strange noise like termites.

Discarded Wings

Termites have wings that fall off after mating. Some people mistake them for flying ants and then realize they are termites. Termites swarm at night before their wings fall off.

Hollow Timber

If you are trying to identify termites, one of the easiest ways is to look for their wings. Termites will shed their wings once they have found a new colony. So if you see wings on the ground or attached to a piece of wood, there is a good chance you are dealing with termites.

Additionally, listen for a hollow sound when knocking on timber. Or look for a thin, papery texture, common characteristics of drywood termites. Finally, if you inspect wood that termites have damaged, check carefully as they often eat through the wood from the inside out.

Wood Tunnels

Termites often leave tiny tunnels or galleries as they eat through wood. If you see these signs of wood damage, it’s important to look at a broken piece of timber or other wood in or around your house.

Checking for galleries is one of the best ways to identify termite damage. If you find any galleries, this is a major sign that termites have taken up residence. And it would help if you took immediate action.

Termite Droppings

Termites are often identified by their droppings. Droppings can be small black spots or a dark powdery substance.

You’ll likely find droppings near areas where they tunnel and eat wood that makes up your home. If you see any signs of termite pests in your home, it is important to take action immediately.

When and Where Termites Swarm

When and Where Termites Swarm

Termites swarm to create new colonies. It usually happens during the spring season, when the weather is warm and humid.

Worker termites will create exit holes so that swarmers can leave the colony and continue their search for livable space. Certain termites are more prone to swarm during the day, while others will swarm at night.

Swarmers are termites, and they will typically gravitate towards windows and doors in the house that have light. They’ll die within hours – 30 minutes in any location if they die. Termites are large clusters of small, winged insects with swarming times lasting about 30 minutes.

Are flying ants termites?

Are flying ants termites?

There is often confusion between flying ants and termites. Many people do not know the difference and wonder what they should do when seeing flying ants. Termites are different from flying ants in a few key ways:

  • Termites have straight antennae, while flying ants have elbowed antennae
  • Termites have thick waists, while flying ants have thin waists
  • Termite’s wings are twice as long as their body while flying ant wings are about the same size as their body

What causes flying termites in your house?

What causes flying termites in your house?

Flying termites, also known as swarmers, signify that you have a mature colony of termites in your home. Termites seen flying in a home are typically only 1% of the total population.

But indicating a much larger problem. After mating flights, fertilized termites will shed their wings and go on to establish new colonies.

Do subterranean termites have wings?

Do subterranean termites have wings?

Termites with wings are known as alates. They are different from other termites because they have developed wings. Nymphs, which are young termites, have eyes that will eventually turn into wings. Wings are considered male and female.

The weather has to be suitable for them to swarm, and when they do, it is a sign that you have a termite infestation.

What is the difference between flying termites vs. flying ants?

What is the difference between flying termites vs. flying ants?

Winged termites and flying ants can be difficult to differentiate, but there are a few key ways to tell them apart. Termites have uniformly sized wings, while ant wings are noticeably larger in the front. Ants also have antennae, while termites do not.

How to prevent termite swarms? (Prevention for Termite swarming and Termite treatment)

termites with wings west palm beach

Prevent termites from entering your home by following these:

How to control termites? (Tips for flying termites outside of my home)

Termites can cause damage to homes if left untreated. Homeowners are encouraged to be aware and observant of any evidence of termites in their homes. 

In short, control termites in your home through these ways:

  • No inspection is needed for new construction; the termites will die off over time.
  • Additional structure needs special attention; termites can use the gaps and spaces between concrete pads to travel and set up their colonies.
  • One sign of an infestation is broken wings near window sills or doorways. 
  • Mud tunnels found on the exterior walls of a home are a good indication of infestation nearby.
  • If you see any signs of termite infestation, it is best to call a professional to do a home inspection.


Termites are a highly significant problem for homeowners and can cause extensive damage to your home if left untreated. One of the most common pest signs of a termite infestation is the presence of flying termites, also known as swarmers.

If you see many of these critters in your home or around your property, there is likely an active colony nearby that needs to be addressed. You can try a few DIY solutions to address the situation yourself, but it’s best to call in a professional if the problem is more serious.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.