Spring has sprung which means termite alates will now be on the move!

While Alate is a term broadly used for young flying insects, an “Alate” generally specifically refers to a termite born to fly. As the termites develop from a juvenile state their wings develop inside the safety of the termite nest and they are nourished and made ready for the perfect conditions for them to take to the air, creating the means for an existing termite colony to propagate the creation of more termite colonies.

What do they look like?

Insects with long thin translucent wings, which are swept back along the body when not in flight. 9mm - 12mm in total length. Typical Australian species are light brown in colour.


While the risk of Alates forming a new colony is so incredibly low, it is often the case that human timber constructions, be it a house, building, or something else are the foundations for these rare nests. As small as the cracks and gaps in building frames and joinery are, it might be enough for Alates to find shelter together to breed. In the perfect world of an Alate, such a man-made location would have a water source. This might be pooling rainwater, groundwater or sewage. Also perfect for the Alates is when a constant dripping tap or reticulated water leak supplies the moist environment that the termites like so much.

Termite colonies will normally produce Alates in the springtime in readiness for the perfect conditions for them to take flight. As evolution has dictated, termite Alates have the best chance of surviving their exposure to the outside world during warm wet conditions, as a termites’ natural habitat inside the colony is warm and wet. In Queensland, this is normally the spring until early summer months of Sept - Dec. Most commonly Alates will take flight during storm events.

If you are worried about “flying termites” please give us a call and book your termite inspection as soon as possible.

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