The Ins and Outs of Flying Ants
When you think of common pests that give you a scare, are flying ants the first that come to mind? We hear a lot of panicked talk around this time of year about flying ants. Folks often see them hanging around the house and yard and get worried. After all, aren't tiny flying insects usually carpenter ants? Or even worse, termites? Generally, all flying insects are a bit scary and alarming, especially if they are in the home.
Are They Really Flying Ants?
Before you act, it’s good to ensure you know the insect you are dealing with. A quick rundown of some very common flying household ants would include winged pavement ants, flying ants, carpenter ants, and termites. When they fly around you they all might appear to be the same but, when you catch them resting and not in flight you can take a closer look and ID it. Typically, the trickiest to tell the difference between are flying ants and termites, but you can learn more about that here.
Why Are the Ants Swarming?
Are your flying ants swarming? When an ant colony is first starting up, all the ants it produces are sterile, female worker ants. But when a colony decides to expand, it starts producing winged, sexually mature males and females. These ants take off in a swarm called a nuptial flight and begin to mate. When female ants have been fertilized, they start a new colony. So, that's why you see all those ants flying around. These ants aren't as destructive as carpenter ants or termites, but they're still annoying. TERRO® Ant Products can be used to get a handle on them.
Where Do Flying Ants Hang Out?
Flying ants typically go for a few things: moisture, light, and wood. These ants might be found lingering around a pool, swarming after a fresh rain, or even flying around in the humidity of late summer. These ants enjoy moisture and they will actively search it out. Some say that they find flying ants swarming around lights, although there is no 100% known attraction there. Typically, these ants stay outside of the home, but if you see a flying ant inside, or worse, a swarm inside, flying ants may have found their way in through a foundation crack and made a nest. Often the ants are found around the foundation of the home and even around trash cans or sheds.
If you see some bugs flying nearby, safely grab one of them and check it out. That way, you'll know when to use TERRO® Ant Products, and when to break out our arsenal against carpenter ants and termites. For extra help, check out TERRO®'s Guide to Ants on our website.