Everything you Ever Needed (or Wanted) to Know about Flying Termites on Oahu
Flying Termites on Oahu and the Diverse Termite Species of Hawaii
Termites–you have to give them credit, they’re industrious–they’re also often associated with destructive behaviors that can cause significant damage to structures. In Hawaii, various termite species thrive, each with its own characteristics and impact on the local environment. Among these species, flying termites on Oahu play a significant role in the termite life cycle. So join us on a journey to learn way more than you ever probably wanted to know about termites and (most importantly) how to handle them.
Understanding Flying Termites
Flying termites, also known as termite swarmers or alates, are reproductive members of termite colonies. Their primary purpose is to establish new colonies and expand the termite population (and you don’t want to be their next invaded territory!). During swarmer season, flying termites take to the air in large swarms, seeking mates and suitable locations to build new nests. The sight flying termites on Oahu can be alarming, but understanding their behavior is essential for effective termite control.
Subterranean termites are the most common and destructive termite species in Hawaii. These termites establish their colonies in the soil and build intricate networks of mud tubes to reach their food sources, often causing extensive damage to wooden structures. The two prominent subterranean termite species found in Hawaii are the Formosan termite (Coptotermes formosanus) and the West Indian drywood termite (Cryptotermes brevis).
Unlike subterranean termites, drywood termites establish their colonies within the wood itself, making them a particular concern for homeowners. In Hawaii, the most common drywood termite species is the West Indian drywood termite (Cryptotermes brevis). These termites infest wooden structures, furniture, and other cellulose-based materials, silently causing damage that may go unnoticed for extended periods.
Dampwood termites, as their name suggests, are attracted to moist or decaying wood. While less commonly encountered in residential areas, dampwood termites can be found in forests, natural habitats, and areas with excessive moisture. These termites are typically larger than other termite species and are often associated with decaying logs or tree stumps.
Conehead termites (Nasutitermes spp.) are another termite species of concern in Hawaii. While not native to the islands, these invasive termites have established populations on Oahu. Known for their aggressive foraging behavior, swift colony growth, and potential to cause substantial structural damage–they are not the type to wait for a home invitation. Conehead termites construct large, freestanding nests and exhibit unique “soldier” termites with distinctive cone-shaped heads.
Identifying Flying Termites on Oahu
Flying termites on Oahu share similar physical characteristics regardless of the species. They have wings of equal length, straight antennae, and broad waists. However, distinguishing termite swarmers from other flying insects, such as ants, is crucial. Unlike ants, termite swarmers have straight antennae, broad waists, and wings of equal length. Ants, on the other hand, have elbowed antennae, narrow waists, and front wings that are longer than their hind wings.
Effective termite control and prevention in Hawaii involve a multi-faceted approach. Regular inspections by pest control professionals are essential for early detection of termite activity and infestations. Integrated pest management techniques, such as soil treatments, localized spot treatments, and the installation of physical barriers, are employed to protect structures from subterranean termites. For drywood termites, targeted treatments, including fumigation, heat treatments, or localized treatments, are utilized to eliminate infestations.
Given the complexity of termite species and their control, seeking professional assistance for effective termite management in Hawaii is your best bet to keep your home or business protected. Pest control professionals like Mid Pacific Pest Control have the expertise, knowledge, and specialized tools to accurately identify termite species, assess the extent of infestations, and develop tailored treatment plans. Our wealth of experience and understanding of local conditions ensure the implementation of the most appropriate control measures for the specific termite species encountered; that means that we’re your best line of defense against not only flying termites on Oahu but all termites (and pests) the islands may throw at you!