During summer, there comes a time when you suddenly notice that your house is swarmed with flying ants. What causes this simultaneous invasion of winged ants? When do ants grow wings? Why do they swarm?
What are those ants with wings in your house? Flying ants only fly or develop wings when they are sexually mature and are ready to establish their nest. Furthermore, those flying ants seen during the summer come from the outdoors, while those that appear in the winter live within your home.
In this article, you will learn how to eliminate and prevent them in your home.
What Are These Ants With Wings?
Generally, ants that have wings are the ones that are ready to reproduce. These flying ants could be female (queens) or male (drones). Female flying ants are bigger compared to male drones.
What Does It Mean When You See Ants With Wings?
When you see flying ants in your house, it means that it is their breeding season. Flying ants are searching for mates. If males cannot find their mate, they will likely die after a few days. It also applies to females who are unable to find their mate.
After mating, the drones will die while the queens will get rid of their wings. Then, the queens will start crawling to look for a nest as they begin their colony.
Why Do Flying Ants Suddenly Emerge?
Flying ants travel in swarms to protect themselves against predators. Swarming improves vigilance and reduces the chance of getting caught by predators. Also, flying in numbers can help them in finding mates quickly. Usually, they look for bright sunlight, low winds, and warm temperatures.
Related: Do Dead Ants Attract More Ants? | The Play-Dead Phenomenon!
Are Flying Ants a Threat?
Although ants with wings are annoying, they are not dangerous. They won’t bite or sting. Some species, such as fire ants, can sting. But most likely, they will not attack since they are busy finding a mate. Generally, they will not bite or sting unless they are extremely provoked.
What Causes Flying Ants to Come To Your House?
Aside from finding a mate, they are also looking for shelter and food. For this reason, your house seems to be the perfect place for that.
Flying Ants Like Sweet Foods
During those warmer months, there is a high tendency that flying ants will enter your home. It is because they are looking for certain conditions such as low winds, high humidity, and warm temperatures. Once they are inside, they will quickly get attracted to your sweet foods. That is why you should keep those food containers tightly sealed. Additionally, clean the tables and sweep the floors all the time.
Flying Ants Are Attracted to Light
Ants usually swarm during those warm nights and are greatly attracted to lights. You can find them mostly on your exterior lights. Also, on your interior lights if they can get inside your house. That is why be sure to keep your doors and windows closed and sealed. Install screens on your windows that are opened.
Flying Ants Like to Fly in High Places
Since flying ants love high places, you can frequently see them swarming around treetops, chimneys, and other higher places. So always seal any cracks to prevent them from getting inside your house.
What Should You Do With Ants With Wings?
If there are swarms of ants with wings in your home, they probably have a nest in your home. In that case, you should call an exterminator right away. They can help you in locating the nest. However, if the queens have not yet started their colony, then you can take preventative measures.
You can use deterrents such as cayenne pepper, mint, cinnamon and place them on entry points to prevent the ants from entering your home. It is important to respond to this problem right away, most especially during the early stages. Eliminating a new queen is easier, but eliminating an established nest might be difficult.
Are Ants With Wings Not Good in the House?
Although it might seem like a nightmare, the good thing is that these winged creatures are not dangerous. Flying ants will not bite or sting you. Also, flying ants do not cause structural damage, unlike termites.
Although flying ants might seem irritating, they will likely disappear in a few days. You can simply seek the help of the pest control center to solve the problem.
How to Eliminate Flying Ants Naturally?
To eliminate flying ants naturally, you can do the following:
- The simplest way to get rid of flying ants is to use a vacuum. You can either use a large or handheld vacuum and suck up those ants.
- If you can’t reach flying ants by using a vacuum, then spray them with a mixture of peppermint oil and dish soap. Grab a spray bottle and fill it with two parts of water and one part of liquid dish soap. Then, add some drops of peppermint oil. Shake it well and spray it on the flying ants.
- Another way of stopping flying ants is to use sticky tape traps. You could also put strips of duct tape on the areas where they enter. To attract the ants, add some sugar or honey.
- Create a trap by mixing sugar and baking soda. Sugar can help in attracting the ants to eat the mixture. Those ants who eat this will die.
Can Vinegar Eliminate Flying Ants?
Using vinegar is safe, natural, and can eliminate flying ants. Simply mix an equal amount of water and vinegar in a bottle. Shake it well and spray it in areas where you found the ants. If you can find the ant colony, you should spray it directly to make it more effective.
What Are the Other Ways of Eliminating Flying Ants?
Below are other ways to eliminate flying ants:
- There are a variety of commercial aerosol products that you can use to eliminate flying ants. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully. Aerosol can be poisonous, so try to avoid using them when other persons or animals are around. Check if it is safe to use indoors.
- Place some diatomaceous earth near food sources. Diatomaceous earth is composed of small particles that feel soft to humans but sharp for ants. These sharp particles will get inside the joints of the ants. It will disable the ants, and then eventually, it will eliminate them instantly.
- An electric bug zapper can eliminate various types of flying insects, including flying ants. Hang the device in the area where you find the flying ants.
- Purchase commercial pesticides that can eliminate ants. Ant baits are very effective in eliminating flying ants. Be sure to follow the directions carefully to avoid any misuse.
- Make a trap by mixing borax and sugar. Mixing it with sugar can prevent the ants from detecting the toxic scent of the borax. Once the ants eat the borax, they will eventually die.
- After finding the ant colony, you can inject it with insecticidal dust to get rid of the ants. Keep in mind that a professional exterminator should only handle this solution. It is also essential that you can pinpoint the precise location of the colony.
How to Prevent the Return of Flying Ants?
Here are the tips to prevent the return of flying ants:
- First of all, you have to look for its source. It could be underneath your home or in between your walls. If you are lucky enough to discover their colony, then you have to destroy it. The best way to do this is to pour some boiling water over it.
- If you can’t find their colony, then it’s best to seal cracks in your house. In this way, you can prevent the invasion of ants in the future.
- Keep your kitchen counters clean at all times.
- Be sure to seal your food containers tightly.
- Fix plumbing leaks immediately.
- Clean and vacuum floors daily.
- Rinse containers before storage.
- Ensure that trees and plants don’t touch the exterior part of your house so ants can’t use them to access your home.
- Replace and remove any damaged or rotten wood in your home since ants could build their colony in them. If the damage is extensive, then you might need the help of a professional contractor.
- Eliminate any woodpiles, rocks, or any debris outside your house.
Related: How to Get Rid of Ants | Ultimate Guide
List of Sources
Ants Don’t Have to Be a Bother Inside. Get Rid of Ants Naturally.
Integrated Pest Management for Home Gardeners and Landscape Professionals: Ants