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What Are Termite Alates?

Alate or better known as laron for most Indonesians is the scientific name for flying termites and/or winged termites, which also part of the reproductive stage termites that you commonly see before and after the rain falls.

Rayap terbang

During the rainy seasons, a group of flying termites is often found flying around the source of light, like your house light or street lights before they finally land on the ground and discard their wings to procreate and set up new colonies.

Learn more on termite castes and their roles in colonies here

Unfortunately, many people are not aware the presence of the laron is actually more than just disruptive flying insects during the rainy seasons, it also becomes a distinctive warning sign that termites are in or near your home.

Let's go over the basics stuff about flying termites or alate!

  • What do flying termites look like?
  • Where do flying termites come from?
  • When do flying termites come out?
  • Are flying termites attracted to light?
  • Do flying termites bite humans?
  • Why do flying termites lose their wings?
  • How to prevent flying termites?

Click on one of the 7 most common questions about flying termites above that people commonly ask Rentokil.

What do flying termites look like?

Below how to identify how does flying termites or laron look like in Indonesia:

  • Colour: they vary in colour from light to dark brown.
  • Size: they range in size from about 8.5 to 9.7 mm long, including wings.
  • Winges: they have two large and translucent wings that are equal in length.
  • Waist & antennae: flying termites have a straight waist and two straight antennae with a slight curve.

Below is a picture of flying termites


Where do flying termites come from?

Where do the flying termites come from is depends on the species or type of termites found infested at your property. There are 2 types of termites that are most often found in Indonesia:

  • Subterranean termites (Coptotermes spp.)
  • Drywood termites (Cryptotermes spp.)

As the name suggests, subterranean termites come from underneath the ground, deep in the soil through your building foundations. Whereas dry wood termites are often found entering houses through the attic since these types of termites only require a little moisture to survive.

When do flying termites come out?

Laron emerges in large numbers when the ambient air temperatures start to rise, such as during rainstorm followed by sunny warm weather. Flying termites can be found across Indonesia, and they prefer an average warm temperature of 25-28 degrees.

This change in temperature triggers the winged termites to emerge from their nest (within some form of timber) to embark on a nuptial flight.

Are flying termites attracted to light?

laron suka cahaya

Yes, flying termites are like the other nocturnal flying insects that highly lured to the source lights. This is the main reason why you will most often find many of them swarming under the street lamp or porch light. If you’re unlucky, they also able to find openings near windowsills, doors and vents to get inside your home.

Do flying termites bite humans?

No, flying termites doesn't bite, sting or harm humans in any way, yet they simply create nuisance inside the home. But you have to remember, the presence of winged termites at home is a sure sign that an infestation is brewing.

Why do flying termites lose their wings?

It’s common to see flying termites swarming around the source of lights for couple minutes before flying termites wings fall off and start crawling wingless on the ground. Once the wings are discarded, the termite will never fly again but rather they are ready to start the process of creating a new colony.

How to prevent flying termites?

The presence of flying termites can be quite distressing for any homeowners, but the best thing you can do to prevent flying termites by turn off all your lights, both indoor and outdoor lighting overnight - to make your home less attractive for flying termites to come during the swarming season.

However, if you find flying termites increasingly annoying, it’s strongly recommended to immediately call the local termite expert to identify the pest and the extent of the problem at your property, despite its termite season or not.

Our termite experts will work with you to develop a customized plan that’s right for your home and family. Contact Rentokil today for the best termite control treatment at your property!

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