The Alates have Arrived!
Over the weekend our home was over run with hundreds of termite alates – flying termites. We have had lots of calls from concerned home owners all over Perth because of the increase in these flying termites in the warmer conditions. But don’t distress, have a read of this blog to learn a little bit more about these little guys.
Termite colonies are made up of 3 main types of termites:
These are the most common and the most destructive members of the colony. They are white in colour and also completely blind, relying on their antennae to get around. The workers bring the food back to the colony, build and repairing the nest as well as taking care of the eggs and young termites.
Soldier termites are pale yellow/brown in colour and have enlarged heads. They also have enlarged jaws which prevent them from feeding themselves (relying on the worker termites to help). Their sole function is to defend the colony from attack.
Reproductive Termites or Alates
These are young termites that are black and have wings. When the outdoor conditions are humid enough, these little guys leave the nest. When they land they shed their wings. When a male and female meet in the right conditions, they start a new colony together becoming the future king and queens.
The alates are attracted to lights so they can generally be found accumulating around the outside lighting of your home, crawling under doors and trying to get inside. They can be misinterpreted as a home invasion but generally these little guys are little more than an annoyance.
Most species of termites don’t eat the hard wood used in homes, preferring softer rotting wood, compost and mulch. Most termites dig into the soil to mate and start a new colony. They have arrived at your home because the light has attracted them.
When you see alates, it means that there may be a termite colony in the area. Ensuring that your home has a current termite protection barrier or baiting system in place will protect it from termite damage. Having a regular annual termite inspection of your home and property is the best way to ensure that termites aren’t nesting on your property.