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Drain flies? - Reticulitermes

Drain flies? - Reticulitermes
Millbrae, jojo999 County, California, USA
January 2, 2013
These insects appeared in my sink today. There were probably more than a hundred of them. Some w/o wings were crawling around. Many appeared dead. Some managed to fly and made their way out of the sink and had got to other parts of the house. I suspect they came up from the drain and might be some form of drain fly. But I am not sure. They seem to have longer wings (and 4 of them) compared to the other photos of drain flies that I have found.


Moved from ID Request.

As has already been mentioned
As has already been mentioned these are termite reproductives.. From the pictures they appear to be subterranean termites which actually nest in the soil and come up in to the wood to feed. At swarming time they they will come up thru any crack in your slab they find or around plumbing fixtures. If on a raised foundation they will find their way inside as well. If your foundation is raised you will find mud tubes running from the soil to your floor.

Not a happy new year!
There ARE occasions when sighting an insect is not a joyous experience!

Looks like winged termites to me

Hmm. Yes
Any reason why a hundred of them or more would suddenly appear in a stainless steel sink out of seemingly nowhere? And why so many were dead?

They fall into the sink and can't get out. Perhaps they're stuck (static cling is a more significant force at the scale of an insect than gravity is).

It's not uncommon to find lots of dead swarmers. The fact that you have this many in your house strongly suggests that you have an active infestation in the house. One good place to look, since the swarmers appeared in the bathroom, would be under the tub, under the sink, or anywhere else that utilities might penetrated the foundation or flooring (depending on whether it is a slab or a crawlspace).

Good luck!

Not in the bathroom
In the kitchen. I don't see any place around this sink where all these insects might have suddenly come from.

I live with roommates and one of them was cleaning out the stand-alone garage yesterday which she rents for her storage needs. She claims she did not bring anything into the sink area in order to clean it. But I am having difficulty seeing how else these insects got into the kitchen sink in the first place. They didn't just teleport in!

I think we're having a misunderstanding here.
Termites do not need to be brought anywhere to appear. They can just appear out of nowhere. They are structrual pests that eat wood, so you most likely have an infestation in your house. These winged forms are the reproductive stage. These are males an females leaving the colony looking for a new place to breed and start another colony.

Here is the UC Davis IPM page on termites. I suggest you read up and then call you local extension office for recommendations.

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