It can be unsettling to find a swarm of airborne arthropods in or around your home. But don’t panic! Here are a few things you need to know about flying ants. Most ants crawl and stay on the ground, but some have wings and can fly. They are a small group of “sexually mature” ants called “alates,” meaning they take flight when it is time for the colony to expand. While flying through the air, ants are solely looking for mates and reproducing to increase their colony size.
What Do Flying Ants Look Like?
Flying ants are ants, but with wings, they often are mistaken with termites because of the mild similarities between these two pests. Many types of ants can fly at least once in their lifetime. Here are some identifying characteristics that will help you differentiate.
- Same width segmented bodies
- Straight antennae
- Four equal length wings
- Narrow waists
- Hinged antennae
- Front and back wings (back wings a longer)
Are Flying Ants Dangerous?
Flying ants are not dangerous, but they bite. Suppose they can bite you while on the ground. The same goes for when they are flying. Just make sure not to walk directly into a sworn, or you will feel hundreds of needles penetrating your skin. That is what an ant bite feels like.
How Do You Get Flying Ants?
The steady supply of food is the main reason why you get flying ants. The shelter is another reason why flying ants find your house the perfect place to reside. Most of the time, when you have minimal activity around your home. That is when flying ants find it best to crash on your place.
What Are the Signs of Flying Ants?
- Swarming ant sightings (around lights and near pools, ponds and other water sources);
- Ant trails (scouts);
- Piles of soil or dirt;
- The actual nest.
There is no reason to panic if you find out that you have flying ants in your backyard. Unless they are aggressive and start to destroy your belongings, you have to start taking preventive measures. One thing that you may not be aware of is that these flying ants are beneficial for your garden’s ecosystem. There are several reasons such as:
- They dig tunnels to aerate and till the soil;
- They feed on and decompose organic waste and dead animals;
- They control undesirable insects that attack plants and lawns;
- They pollinate flowers and distribute seeds;
- They provide a food source for birds, frogs and beetles.
How would you react if you saw a flying ant inside your home? Check to make sure it isn’t a termite before you freak out. Also, determine whether there are only a few swarmers scattered around. Possibly a couple of rogues zoomed in with the door open.
It could be that you have a colony of flying ants within your walls or foundation or that a colony is about to reproduce nearby.
How To Get Rid of Flying Ants
You can take action on your own after you determine you have a flying ant infestation.
You can set out baits/traps;
Or hit flying ants with an insecticide spray (outdoors only).
Non-toxic home remedies:
Swarms can be vacuumed with a handheld or stick vacuum (dispose of the bag immediately);
- Put sticky duct tape on the wall;
- You can sprinkle borax along ant trails and around nests;
- Spray a solution of vinegar, water, and essential oils to repel insects;
- Use a spray to kill them on contact that is safe to use indoors and around kids and pets.
- Another method is to place a water basin directly under a swarm of bees to provide a light source to entice them.
How To Prevent Flying Ants
Here are some year-round preventative measures you can take to mitigate or completely prevent ants from invading and destroying hidden places in your home and garden:
- Sealing entry cracks in the foundation
- Wrap windows and doors in caulk
- Protect your home and yard with an insecticide barrier
- Pet food should not be left in the yard
Flying ants may not be that huge of a problem until they become aggressive. Flying ants only fly when it is mating season, and at that time of the year, they are the least dangerous. However, the fear of infestation is possible. In that case, a home protection plan can save you. For more information, you can contact us, and we would be delighted to help you.