mayfly or stonefly family?
Dear Bugman,
Recently I left my normal, predominantly bug-free (aside from some silverfish) apartment at 12:00pm and returned at 5:00pm to find my bathroom swarmed with these dead and dying bugs. This happened last year around the same time as well, though at that time I found them by the sliding glass door of my living room. I know mayflies typically live just a few short hours but these don’t look like any of the mayfly photos I’ve found. These also look smaller than the stoneflies I’ve seen on the web. The bodies are just a little bigger than an ant. I’m very curious about the life cycle. What were they doing for the five hours I was away? They hatched? Flew around? Lost their wings and collapsed? Do I have to scrub my apartment clean to get rid of larvae that might hatch next year? And why didn’t they reappear where they were last year, at the glass door? It’s so freaky to come home to what looks like a mass slaughter, but what really bothers me are all those little wings that end up around the house. Many thanks,
Los Angeles, CA

Hi Lane,
Thanks for the head’s up that Termites are swarming in Los Angeles. You must have a colony somewhere in your walls and they swarm in the spring usually after a rain. This nuptial flight is composed of the reproductive queens and kings and they loose their wings after flying when they seek shelter in some crevice or crack and begin a new colony.

2 Responses to Swarming Termites: Nuptial Flight

  1. Ingrid says:

    Hi, It’s October, and it has not rained. It’s been very hot. I came home to find a sworn of these insects all over the floor. It looks like they came out of a box full of photo albums, and around a window. Can these insects be flying temites?

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