The flying ant is just an ant with wings. When any ant reaches sexual maturity it sprouts wings. These are designed to allow it to leave the nest and mate with a male from another colony. In this way, ants do not become too interbred and new queens can create new colonies.
Because the ants develop wings at sexual maturity and need warm conditions to fly, they all tend to leave the nest at a similar time. This creates a swarm of flying ants. The good news is that, while it can be disconcerting, it doesn’t last long.
Why Do Flying Ants Swarm?
The reason is simply protection. As soon as ants start to fly birds will appear to enjoy the tasty snack that is virtually being served to them on a platter. To help ensure some ants survive and manage to mate, the ants fly together, taking strength from their numbers.
If you study the swarm you will notice the female ants are larger. Once they have mated they will chew their wings off and look for a suitable spot to create a new nest. They never fly again!
Dealing With Flying Ants
As soon as you see flying ants it can be tempting to call your local pest control firm and have them come and deal with the issue. In fact, they are likely to offer advice and will be more likely to assist you in dealing with ant colonies in your yard. Eliminating or reducing ants in your yard will reduce the opportunity for flying ants to appear.
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There are actually a number of things you can do to get rid of flying ants. However, the first thing you need to do is confirm they are flying ants and not termites. Take a look at the wings. Termites have front and rear wings the same size, ants have front wings that are larger than the back wings. Termites are a much more serious issue and need to be dealt with by a professional.
The simplest approach is to vacuum the flying ants. You can hold the nozzle up to where the ants are flying or wherever you see them in your home. The flying ant will be sucked into your vacuum and unable to get back out.
Simply remove the bag from your vacuum, seal it shut, and dispose of it.
Soap and Water
You can create a mixture of one part liquid soap to two parts of water. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and spray any flying ants you see. The soap prevents the ants from flying and sticks to them, causing them to dehydrate and die.
You can purchase sticky tape traps or simply attach a piece of duct tape to a string and leave it hanging near the flying ants. They will get stuck to it and die.
It really is that easy to get rid of your flying ants and prevent the issue from returning.