Fruit flies, houseflies, and wasps are bad enough when they break into your house. Now, you may have to face flying ants. They are quite troublesome, especially when they get together in large groups while mating. But luckily, they are not dangerous at all. Though it is frustrating to control their number it is not that difficult.
Having flying ants in your home is never a good sign, and seeing them in your home in the winter is especially headache. This is because ants only have wings or fly when they try to breed. In the summer, the flying ants may be creeping ants that lives outdoors. They might got inside your house through an open door, gap or crack.
During the winter, and in cold areas, ants are not able to living and breeding in the open outdoors. So if flying ants are seen in your home in the winter, it is most likely that the ants are living in your house and they might build homes in your house.
1. What Is a Flying Ant?The flying ant or "alates," is not unique to ants, but is a developmental stage shared by all ant species, essentially a common ant with wings.
They are male and female ants that have reached sexual maturity. These ants fly out of their colonies to mate, they are usually most active in the warm days of late spring and summer, and these behaviors often leads to the formation of new colonies.
2. What Do Flying Ants Look Like? Often confused with the fearsome wood-devouring termite, especially the untrained eye winged ants (winged carpenter ants) and termites look very similar.
There's not just one species of ANTS, such as flying ant, fire ants, carpenter ants, sugar ants, protein ants and any other ant types you could think of (mostly) are all able to fly at some time in their life.
Here are some identifying features to help you distinguish flying ant from termites:
Flying ants take flight to mate, flock together, and then return to the nest or search for new one.
ying ants do not bite and are not dangerous to humans.
However, the flying ants look a lot like termites, it can become a serious problem if you don't treat them properly. Identify them by looking for key features:
Flying ants: The wings are unequal in length, antennae are bent, abdomen long and thin, and there is a visible "waist".
Termites: The wings are an equal length, the antennae are straight, abdomen is also.
Also the termites consume the wood, which means that the damage they cause could be much worse.
3. How long do flying ants live?The flying phase of a male's life cycle lasts only a day or two, but a female may keep flying until mating, at which point it cuts off its wings and begins creeping to find a new nesting spot.
In some species, females that become established as queens may live as long as 30 years.
4. The Dangers of Flying AntsIt is not uncommon to find flying ants outside.
The more worrying aspect is when the swarmers find their way somehow break into your house.
A colony of flying ants can be more frightening and worrying to a homeowner visited by these insects than a typical ant on the ground.
There could be a deeper problem if they manage to establish a colony at home.
Let’s just say that swarms of ants are no more dangerous in flight than they are on the ground. In other words, if an ant species bites or stings while crawling, the same thing happens when it's in the air.
Tip: Please take extra care not to walk directly into swarms of flying ants.
They could be a group of non-aggressive road ants, or they could be a group of angry red fire ants.
5. What Causes Flying Ants?Flying ants are found in homes for the same reasons that reptile ants do: there are sources of food and water and areas for establishing colonies.
Most species of ants feed on common food, and they can settle in almost any dark, hidden area.
If you see flying ants, it means that hidden colonies have been established to breed and breed ants.
6. How long do flying ants stay around?Winged ants emerge over several weeks, usually in hot and humid conditions.
Another reason ants stay around in large numbers is to increase the chance of breeding, as larger groups mean they don't have to watch from afar to mate.
7. Get Rid of Flying Ants(1) Catch them with sticky tape
Lure the small things in with a food source and place some tape as close as possible with the sticky side up.
(2) Attack ants with artificial sweeteners
Certain types of sweeteners can be very toxic to ants.
For example, if you mix the sweetener with apple juice, it forms a sticky paste that the ants bring back to the colony. Once consumed there, it will kill part of them.
(3) Use insecticidal powder
An insecticidal lacquer can be applied around door thresholds or wall and floor junctions where ants run, or sprayed with an insecticide aerosol marked for that purpose.
(4) Place the tin can over the ant hill
This should be done in the morning, when the ants gets hot, the ants put their eggs into the jar.
Place a piece of cardboard under each tin in the afternoon, remove and dispose of the eggs, they provide an excellent treat for birds, especially chickens.
(5) Pour boiling water into the ant hill
(6) Don’t leave pet food in the yard; keep your kitchen clean and free of food morsels.
However, please keep in mind when killing flying ants that they are actually good for outdoors.
They could be aerate soil, help to cycle nutrients, improve garden fertility and control pests.
They also provide a vital food resource for many species of birds, particularly swifts and gulls.
8. How to Prevent Flying Ants(1) Limit Food Sources
Although ants fly for the sole purpose of finding a mate, but they still can detect food sources in your home.
For this reason, it is best to seal all food containers and secure waste items in plastic bags.
Good sanitation practices are a must for keeping any pest insect away.
This also applies to common house ants, cockroaches, spiders and reptiles.
(2) Install Outdoor Bug Lights
Artificial outdoor lighting attracts flying ants more than anything, so it's best to turn them off during the season when they come in large numbers, however, this strategy can leave you in the dark.
The next best thing is to replace white light bulbs with yellow outdoor bug lights. The soft yellow light attracts flying insects much less than regular bulbs.
(3) Residual Insecticides
Pesticide dust is a good way to prevent winged ants from establishing satellite colonies around your home. The carpenter ant is a classic example.
Ensure that areas under eaves, overhangs and roof areas are dusted. Also, treat cracks and cracks along foundations, under windowsills, and blocked doors.
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