When you think of ants, the first thing that comes to mind is probably little critters crawling on the ground or across the kitchen counter. However, flying ants also exist. You may not fully understand them, but you definitely don’t want them around your house because of how much of a nuisance they can become.
Flying ants invade houses in swarms and can get into your food and cupboards. They can get stuck on car windscreens, clothes, and in your hair. So what exactly are these ants? Where do they come from? And the biggest question: how to get rid of flying ants?
We have all the answers to your burning questions about flying ants. Read on to learn more.
Table of Contents
- Flying Ant Identification
- Flying Ant Behavior
- How do you exterminate flying ants?
- How Do You Stop Ants in Your House Naturally?
Flying Ant Identification
Flying ants and termites share similar appearances. So the first thing you should do when you see flying critters is to make sure they’re actually flying ants.
You’ve probably seen termites and ants around your home. So which is which? Find out what is the difference between ants and termites in this article.
Once you confirm that you’re dealing with flying ants, you can proceed to the next step of eliminating them.
How flying ants look like
So how do you know whether the insects you’re dealing with are indeed flying ants? These ants have certain features that distinguish them from other insects that produce winged individuals.
Here’s what you should look for in flying ants:
- They have two wings of unequal length on each side of their body. The front wings are longer than the rear wings.
- They have bent or elbow-shaped antennae.
- They have a narrow waist between the thorax and abdomen.
Where do they come from?
Flying ants are not a separate ant species. They’re actually members of other species. They emerge from their old colonies looking to start new ones.
The ants fly to look for suitable mates as well as a good site to start a new colony. After mating, the males usually die – having fulfilled their life’s purpose – and the females move on.
Flying ants often emerge and set out on their flights when certain conditions exist.
- low winds,
- bright sunlight,
- warm temperatures,
- high humidity.
Do they bite?
Flying ants are usually not aggressive. They’re more interested in finding a mate. However, some can bite or sting when they feel threatened.
If a particular ant species don’t bite, the flying ants of that species won’t bite. If the crawling ants of a certain species bite or sting, the winged ants of that species will also do the same.
For ant species that can bite or sting attackers such as carpenter ants, bull ants, and fire ants, you can expect their flying ants to do the same if threatened.
Flying Ant Behavior
Ants are known to be social insects, and flying ants are no exception. They tend to form large clusters when moving away from their initial colony. This swarming helps them keep predators away.
Flying Ant Day refers to the period when flying ants come out and set out on swarming flights for their mating process. It usually lasts for a few days or weeks, not just a single day.
This phenomenon takes place when the weather conditions are right, mostly after 3-5 days of rain. This is usually in late spring and early summer.
Let’s take a look at some other habits of these tiny winged critters.
What are they attracted to?
Winged ants are usually attracted to large or high landmarks. You’ll find them creating mating aggregations around structures like chimneys, trucks, towers, treetops, and bushes.
There’s no scientific evidence that indicates ants are attracted to light. However, many people have reported seeing flying ant swarms around light sources. If you see flying ants at night, they’re likely to be congregating around your home’s lights.
Do they eat wood?
If you frequently see flying ants in the winter, it almost always indicates the presence of a nest in the house, which is probably a carpenter ant nest. Carpenter ants can start a colony in your wooden wall, furniture, and any other wooden structure.
Unlike termites that consume the wood they tunnel in, carpenter ants only nest in the wood without eating it.
How do you exterminate flying ants?
Flying ants don’t pose a serious danger. However, they can be really annoying pests.
You can kill the ants on sight or attack the nest they’re coming from, or their entry points such as cracks and windowsills. Here are some of the best methods you can use to get rid of flying ants.
Interested in finding the best ant killer? This link will give you all the help you need.
Baits are very effective ways of eliminating flying ants. Although they’re slow acting, they get rid of the entire colony.
With gel bait, you can easily discover where the nests are. You just place the bait near an infested area, and the foraging ants will carry it back to the nest. All the insects will die once they consume the gel.
Here are some liquid baits you can use:
- TERRO Liquid Ant Baits
Where to buy: available on Amazon
This liquid bait can be used both indoors and outdoors. It gets rid of all common household ants. Each box has six bait stations to contain the bait, ensuring there are no sticky or messy spills. The stations also prevent the liquid bait from drying out.
- Raid Max Double Control Ant Baits
Where to buy: available on Amazon
This child-resistant product uses two bait types to attract and kill ants. Reduced ant population and activity can be noticed within days. It can work continuously for three months. Each pack comes with eight baits.
Sprays and granules
If you’re dealing with a handful of flying ants, you can use a commercial ant spray. It kills the ants on contact. Take care not to point a spray at yourself, other people, or your pets.
Thinking of using an ant spray? Click this link to get valuable tips and information.
You can also use granules to kill flying ants. These are only effective when they come into contact with the ants’ bodies. Flying ants are likely to land on a spot next to food, so you should sprinkle the killer granules as close to a food source as possible.
Consider using one of the following commercial aerosol sprays:
- Safer Brand Ant & Roach Killer Aerosol
Where to buy: www.saferbrand.com
This citrus-scented spray kills ants, roaches, and other insects on contact. It’s made from natural plant extracts. It’s safe for use indoors and in your garden.
- TERRO Carpenter Ant & Termite Killer Aerosol
Where to buy: www.terro.com
This spray keeps killing ants, wood wasps, termites, and other insects for up to four months after application. The precision spray tube feeds the spray into crevices and tight voids where termites and ants usually colonize. It can be used both indoors and outdoors.
- Safer Brand Ant & Crawling Insect Killer
Where to buy: www.saferbrand.com
This product kills ants and other insects within 48 hours. Its granules are very sharp to ants and cut their exoskeleton, dehydrating them to death. The spout helps you use the product precisely and consistently. It’s safe for direct application inside your home.
How Do You Stop Ants in Your House Naturally?
You shouldn’t panic if you see just one or two flying ants in your home in the summer. They won’t cause much of a problem.
Several ants flying around your house can be a real bother, even if they’ll be around for just one or two days. That could also be a sign of new colonies being established somewhere very close to your home. For those reasons, you may want to get rid of them.
Eliminating flying ants is even more important in the winter when they’re not breeding in the outdoors. If you spot any winged ant during this period, there’s a high probability of ants living within your home’s structure.
Why are there flying ants in your home?
Flying ants can make their way into your house through open doors and windows. They can also enter through cracks in roofs and walls.
After mating, the fertilized female flies in search of a nesting site. Unfortunately, that means she may choose to colonize your personal space.
Natural ways you can use to kill them
Most commercial ant killers can be harmful to your family and pets. On the contrary, most natural methods are toxic to ants but aren’t harmful to humans and animals.
So how do you get rid of flying ants naturally?
Try one of the following remedies:
- Honey and boric acid
This bait is highly effective in eliminating a colony of ants in your home.
How to use: Combine 2 tablespoons of boric acid with 2 tablespoons of honey in a small bowl. Spread the mixture on a cardboard and position it in an area you’ve seen the ants. Replace the bait every day until you’ve completely gotten rid of the winged invaders.
Safety: You should take great care when using this bait because it can be toxic to children and pets.
- Dish soap
Dish soap solution will attach to the bodies of the winged critters and dehydrate them.
How to use: Fill a spray bottle with 1 part dish soap and 3 parts water. Mix well and then spray on the flying ants.
- Artificial sweetener
Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame are extremely toxic to ants. When you mix them with apple juice, this sweet mixture kills a significant portion of the ants’ population.
How to use: Mix some apple juice with the artificial sweetener to form a viscous paste. Place it somewhere you’ve seen the ants flying or close to their nest.
- Boiling water
Boiling water will kill many ants in a nest and deter the rest from coming back.
How to use: If you manage to locate the ant hill, simply pour some boiling water over it.
Sticky tape can capture flying ants if you place it with the sticky side up. The ants won’t be able to fly away once they land on the tape.
How to use: Place a perimeter of sticky tape around a potential food source.Important tip
This natural method of getting rid of flying ants may not be very effective because the ants can fly around the sticky tape.
To make it more efficient, lay the tape as close to the food source as possible.
A peppermint oil spray will kill flying ants through suffocation.
How to use:
- Mix a few drops of the oil.
- 3 parts water.
- 1 part dish wash liquid .
Spray this mixture on the winged ants as well as their nest if you have a larger ant infestation.
The acid in vinegar effectively gets rid of flying ants.
How to use: Mix equal amounts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle well and then spray the solution on the ants or in their nest.
With the numerous remedies we’ve given you above, you’re sure to find one that will work for you. Remember, to keep these winged critters from coming back to your home, seal any cracks, holes and other entrance paths they use. Don’t forget to eliminate any possible food sources. Here’s to a home free of flying ants!
You can find further details of Ants Control here.