Pest Guide for Flying Ants
While the majority of ants stay grounded and are seen crawling around, there are some that actually have wings and can fly. These flying ants are a small part of their ant colony and are considered the “sexually mature” ants called “alates.” These ants are the reproductive ants of the colony and take flight when the colony is ready to expand. As the ants fly through the air, their sole mission is to find mates and reproduce in order to increase the colony size.
Because there’s a typical “mating season” for ants, you’ll often see swarms of flying ants around the same time every year. Their preferable conditions include bright sunlight, low winds, high humidity, and warm temperatures (preferably after three to five days of rain), which means you’ll likely see them in late spring or early summer.
Though ants with wings are more intimidating than ants that crawl, flying ants aren’t any more of a threat than their grounded counterparts. Also, just because you see a swarm of flying ants doesn’t mean there’s a greater chance that they’ll invade your home.
Male flying ants actually die right after mating and female flying ants lose their wings after being fertilized and creating a nesting site, which means the chances of having a flying ant infestation is rather low. However, if you find winged ants in your home in the winter, it may mean you already have a nest in your home and we recommend calling our pest control company as soon as possible.
To prevent flying ants from making their way inside, make sure you seal the cracks and crevices on your property and keep your windows and doors closed. Also keep sources of food like crumbs and scraps off of the floor and the lids on your garbage cans tightly sealed.
Flying Ants vs. Termites
Flying ants look very similar to termites – the differences are in the number of wings they have, the shape of their bodies, and the angle of their antennae. Because these pests are small, however, homeowners often mix up the two and aren’t sure whether they have a winged ant problem or a termite problem. If you see a small winged pest and aren’t sure about it, call us right away. We’ll come out to your home to identify the problem and whether we find ants or termites, we’ll get rid of your pests quickly and efficiently.