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Winged termites on the ground.

Seeing Winged Termites in Fort Lauderdale? Here’s What to Know

Winged termites on the ground.

Seeing winged termites, also known as swarmers, in Fort Lauderdale can be worrying. They show up more when it's warm, especially after it rains, looking to start new colonies.

It could mean there's a termite colony close to your home, which might damage the wooden parts of your house.

Knowing about these termites is critical to catching and stopping them early, saving you from hefty repair bills.

Keep reading if you've noticed winged termites around your Fort Lauderdale home or just want to learn more about these fluttering pests.

Key Takeaways

  • Winged termites, known as alates, in Fort Lauderdale play a crucial role in creating new termite colonies and indicate a possible infestation.
  • Spotting swarmers, discarded wings, mud tubes, wood damage, or frass in your home are critical signs of a termite presence.
  • Fort Lauderdale is home to various termite species, including invasive Asian and Formosan subterranean termites.
  • Preventing termite infestations involves regular professional inspections, customized pest management plans, and DIY tips.

Winged Termites in Fort Lauderdale

In Fort Lauderdale, residents often encounter winged termites, flying termites, or termite swarmers.

These flying insects are crucial indicators of termite presence and are essential in termite colonies.

What Are Winged Termites?

Winged termites, or alates, are the reproductive members of a termite colony

Here's a closer look at their characteristics and behavior:




Alates are the reproductive members of the termite colony tasked with establishing new colonies.

Swarming Behavior

It’s commonly observed in warm climates, where alates take flight in significant numbers, indicating a termite swarm.


Alates differ from worker termites by having wings and typically being darker in color.


Like the rest of their colony, winged termites feed on cellulose as a food source found in wood and plant matter.

Signs of Winged Termite Infestation

In Fort Lauderdale, these flying insects can indicate a termite infestation early.

Besides discarded wings and frass, here are other signs to watch for:

  • Swarmers: A clear sign of potential infestation is the presence of flying termites, particularly near windowsills and porches. These winged termites are attracted to light and often indicate a nearby nest.
  • Mud Tubes: Termites construct tunnels made of soil and wood pieces for travel. Mud tubes the width of a pencil might appear on walls or the foundation.
  • Wood Damage: Termites eat wood from the inside out. If you tap on what should be solid wood in the home and it sounds hollow, termites might be the culprits.

Winged Termite Species in Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale, a city in South Florida, is home to various species of termites, including the invasive Asian and Formosan subterranean termites.

Understanding the different species of local termites is crucial for effective pest control.

Subterranean Termites

Eastern Subterranean termite

These termites are prevalent in South Florida and require contact with the soil to maintain their moisture levels.

Two of the most common invasive species in Fort Lauderdale are:

  • Asian subterranean termite
  • Formosan subterranean termite

Drywood Termites

Termites crawling on a mossy log.

Unlike subterranean species, drywood termites do not require soil contact and often infest attic spaces, consuming wood from the inside out.

A species you may encounter in Fort Lauderdale is the West Indian drywood termite.

Dampwood Termites

Termites on a tree.

Typically found in moist and decaying wood, these termites are less common in urban areas but can be found in Fort Lauderdale's damper environments.

Life Cycle and Reproduction

Understanding termite life cycle and reproduction gives insight into how these colonies grow and spread.

Here's a closer look at each stage of reproduction in all types of termites:




All termites begin as eggs, laid by a queen in the colony.


Eggs hatch into nymphs, which undergo several molts before adulthood.

Adult Castes

Adult termites develop into one of three castes: workers, soldiers, or reproductives.


Reproductive termites, or alates, take flight during termite swarming season to create new colonies.

New Colony Formation

After swarming, mated pairs land, shed their wings, and establish new colonies, perpetuating the species' life cycle.

How to Prevent Winged Termites

Taking suitable preventative measures can thwart the establishment of a termite colony in Fort Lauderdale homes.

Both professional and DIY pest control strategies are essential to effective termite control.

What Are Professional Pest Control Methods?

  • Termite Inspections: Regular inspections by a licensed pest control company can catch signs of a termite infestation early on.
  • Pest Management Plans: Pest control professionals can create a customized plan for effective termite control, considering your property's specific needs.
  • Termite Treatments: Experts offer treatments like bait systems and termiticides for comprehensive termite treatment.
  • Follow-up: Repeated inspections ensure the termite colony is eradicated and help prevent future infestations.

DIY Termite Prevention Tips

  1. Reduce Moisture: Repair leaks and ensure proper drainage around your Florida home to eliminate excess moisture termites are attracted to.
  2. Seal Entry Points: Check for and seal gaps around pipes and utility lines to block termite access points.
  3. Termite-Resistant Mulch: Use mulch made from termite-resistant materials, or place mulch at a safe distance from the home's foundation, as per IFAS recommendations.

Selecting a Pest Control Service

When winged termites appear in a Fort Lauderdale home, it signals a potential new colony, making timely termite treatment critical.

As a homeowner, you need a reliable pest control company to assess and handle the menace.

Factors to Consider

Several critical factors must be considered when selecting a pest control service to ensure effective termite management.

Here are some key aspects to consider:



Free Inspections

A good pest control service should offer free termite inspections to assess the level of termite activity and potential damage.

Local Experience

Experience with termites specific to South Florida is crucial, as local exterminators will understand the best methods and time of year to tackle these pests.

Treatment Options

You should seek companies that provide eco-friendly treatment options to mitigate termite damage while considering environmental impact.

Year-Round Service

Termites in Florida can be a problem year-round. Choosing a company that offers year-round monitoring and control of termite activity is wise.

Is It Time to Call the Termite Experts?

Suspecting a termite invasion? These silent destroyers can cause havoc without a visible trace until it's too late.

Fort Lauderdale residents, brush up on these tell-tale signs of termites to keep your home safe.

  • Mud Tubes
  • Droppings
  • Peeling Paint
  • Sagging Floors

When termite infestation signs appear, promptly contact a professional pest control company (like us here at Native Pest Management) to assess the situation and suggest an effective treatment plan.