Do Termites Only Come Out at Night? 

Typically you see evidence of termite infestation like mud tubes and damaged wood before you see the actual termites running around.

Do termites only come out at night? Are they nocturnal?

That depends on the species of termite!

Some species of termites come out at night, and others, such as the subterranean termites, are active during the daytime. Most people associate termites with nighttime because they might have noticed them swarming around in the evenings.

These flying insects can become a menace and cause extensive damage. 

This article highlights three key areas to keep you prepared and informed in case they visit your home. 

  • Why do termites come out at night? 
  • Do all termites fly? 
  • Common signs of termite infestation at your home 

Do Termites Only Come Out At Night?

Not all species of termites come out at night. There are three main termite species, each behave differently.

Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites build colonies underground and stay active during the day.

Drywood Termites

Drywood termites build their habitats on and in wood. These types are active at night and are attracted to light.

Dampwood Termites

Last is the Dampwood termites, which live in dampened wood and are also active at night. 

Termites are social insects, which is why they prefer living in colonies. When they come out, they belong to a swarm. These insects have three social classes: the workers who hunt for food, soldiers who guard the queen and colony, and the male and female swarmers. 

A swarm is likely to happen after rains during the summer season. This is because termites prefer flying in warm and humid night temperatures. Therefore, they tend to fly out at night to look for a dry shelter after the heavy rains.

Generally, summer and spring (with their higher humidity) trigger these insects, and they begin emerging from their nests. 

Those termites that belong to the swarmers class have wings. And chances are that they are the ones you’ve seen flying around your home or streetlights.

They depart from the colony to mate and find a new nest when a new season comes. 

Once they’ve paired off, they fly to look for a new shelter where they’ll start a new colony.

Therefore, if you notice any of the swarms outside, the automatic response is to switch off your lights to avoid attracting them inside.

Also, ensure that you close all windows and seal any potential entry points, such as door spaces. 

Also, ensure that you close all windows and seal any potential entry points, such as door spaces. 

Do All Termites Fly? 

Not all termites fly, and flying termites often cause more damage than others. The good thing is that even though they have wings, they don’t fly very well and immediately start shedding the wings once they settle.

Flying termites are adult reproductive termites looking for a new habitat to begin their colonies. 

So, what’s the difference between flying termites and flying ants? 

It is easy to assume that the two are the same since they look-a-like from afar. However, this is not the case, and there are some distinctive differences between the two in terms of body structure, diets, and habitat. 

  • Flying termites – have straight antennae and differ in color. They measure about 6 mm to 12 mm, in length and have an almost translucent wing set. Flying termites prefer staying in moist conditions and feeding on dead wood, furniture, and other cellulose materials. 
  • Flying ants – are bigger than flying termites, measuring between 13 mm and 17 mm. Their adaptive properties make it easy for them to stay in various environments such as underground, inside trees, and any outdoor space. In addition, these ants are omnivorous and feed on pet food, sugars, meat, and other leftover food. 

Common Signs of Termite Infestation at Your Home 

Flying termites can cause a great deal of damage. And if the infestation is not controlled, they can lead to property loss. It is unlikely termites will just leave on their own!

That is why it is vital to learn the common signs of their infestation early and contact professional pest contractors. These signs include; 

Flying termites can cause much damage, and if the infestation is not controlled, they can lead to property loss.

1. Mud Tubes 

If you notice any mud tubes, especially along the walls of your basement and foundation surface, it is a sign that you have unwanted guests in your space. Instead of staying underground, these tubes provide living conditions similar to their normal termite habitat. 

2. Wood Shavings 

The second sign is the presence of termites’ droppings, such as fine wood pellets and shavings. These drops result from the termites creating tunnels in your furniture and other wooden products.

Failure to notice this progresses to hollow-sounding wood resulting from the termites hitting their heads on the woods’ walls. 

3. Discarded Wings 

After they land, termites shed their wings before settling in their new home. It is common to find these discarded wings on the ground and other surfaces. 

If you notice any signs, it is best to contact experts to help you identify the ideal elimination method. The longer you take, the more damage they cause, primarily if they have already settled.

Your best shot is to get a pest control specialist who offers a comprehensive treatment plan and prevention measures. 

Prevention is better than cure! If you notice the termite swarms in your area, there are some preventive measures you can take to reduce the chances of termite infestation, such as: 

  • Close all windows, secure and seal all openings, cracks, and gaps. These are potential entry points to your home. 
  • Lock or keep away all termite attractants such as wood piles, firewood stacks, logs, and other wooden debris. 
  • Limit their potential food source by avoiding leaving leftover food in your home. Dispose of garbage correctly and at the designated places. 
  • Keep your space dry and get rid of excess moisture that attracts termites. This includes fixing leaking pipes and roofs and keeping the area under your sinks dry. 

Even if there’s no sign of swarms, it is crucial to schedule termite inspections, especially for unattended property. The contractors conduct inspections to spot any signs and prevent further costly damage effectively and with proper documentation.

Even if there’s no sign of swarms, it is crucial to schedule termite inspections, especially for unattended property.


Termites often are active at night, but not always. Different species are active at different times, and you may find them moving around or even flying during the day.

Termites have an interesting life cycle, and there are stages where they fly out of their nests. During this period, they travel in swarms, increasing the potential damage to your home. 

If you see them infesting your home, you will almost certainly need the help of a professional to deal with them and document the process for future property owners.