Flying Ants: How Much Do You Know About Them?
You are looking for flying ants shows you are annoyed with their hovering around in your home and you are scanning for ways to get rid of them. Did you know before that flying ant are regular ants with wings?
Now let us discover a lot more about these winged ants that are often mistaken as termites-
What are Flying Ants?
Flying ants also known as Alates or Swarmers are no new species of ants; they also begin their lifecycle as an egg. While few eggs are eaten, mostly they grow into larvae. To grow into healthy adults, they too need proper care and nutrition.
When a female larva gets extra nourishment, it may grow into a large and fertile queen with big attractive wings. With ordinary care, male and female larva gain a normal size. The larva keeps growing and when it reaches a specific size, it turns into a pupa. Pupa takes a few weeks to become an adult ant and has folded antennae until then. When the male pupa matures into an adult and develops sexuality, it develops wings to engage in nuptial flight and grow the colony.
Also read about: Fire Ants
What causes flying ants in your house?
If you see flying ants swarming near your house, it is likely to find a colony built either in your neighborhood or in some cracks in your walls.
Flying ants are also fond of moist and damp surfaces so if they find a leaky pipe or drain in your house, it is inviting to them. They can also use dry and hollow areas like false beams or hollow doors to build their nests.
They generally access your house in search of food or humid spaces. To stop flying ants from accessing your house, the easiest thing you can do is to maintain a clean kitchen, use airtight jars for storage food, and keep bins covered, mop with disinfectants to clean their trail.
Difference Between Flying Ants and Termites
It is important to note that both the termites and the flying ants swarm as a part of their mating exercise. Therefore Flying ants vs Termites often becomes gruesome to make out whether it is flying ants or winged termites hovering all around your house. You can keenly observe the few features below to be certain about your finding-
- Termites have straight and uniform-sized wings, whereas the flying ants have elbow-shaped wings with front wings larger than the pair of wings at the back.
- Termites have wings almost two times their body size, but flying ants have wings that are sized proportionately to their bodies and are smaller.
- Termites have a broad waist, but the flying ants have a pinched waist.
How To Get Rid of Flying Ants
We have done rigorous research to find the most effective ways to get rid of these flying monsters from your homes.
- Vacuum Them Up- The most convenient way is to use a vacuum cleaner and try to suck all the flying ants after shutting down your door and windows. Throw the sealed bag right away. Since they are seasonal and short-lived, this method is quite helpful.
- Using Peppermint Spray – Peppermint is an effective natural insect repellent. Prepare a DIY mixture with one part dishwashing liquid and two parts of water. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and then add a few drops of peppermint oil. In case you do not have peppermint oil, you can use some other essential oil like Tea tree oil, cinnamon, etc. The soap dehydrates the flying ants and peppermint suffocates them.
- Using Commercial Glue traps– Use can easily buy a glue trap from your local hardware store and place it in the locations where you see them hovering around in clusters. The flying ants get easily attracted to them, and once trapped the glue does not let them escape.
- Use Pesticide- If you find preparing the DIY mixture tricky, go for any commercial pesticide. Spray the pesticide wherever you see them flying taking care not to use them near your food stations to avoid food poisoning. Also, wear gloves and goggles before using them. This method can work well on the flying ants in the air, but you need to make an extra effort if they have built their nests inside your homes.
When Do You See Flying Ants In House?
It is a common belief that the lifespan of flying ants is just one day. If you also believe the same, you are mistaken. Though these flying creatures do not harm, it is frustrating to see them swarming around your house.
Flying ants appear when the weather conditions are favourable to them and its summers and spring. So, it is not just a day, they can be seen flying in your house from June to September. You may wonder that when a swarm of flying ants hovers around a particular place at the same time, the phenomenon is called “flying ant day”. Flying ant day falls sometime between July and August when you can see them crawling in huge numbers at one place.
Also read about: Carpenter Ants
Ants have multiple species and are considered the world’s strongest creatures due to their large numbers. It is not only that Flying ants create a nuisance, they are good for our environment as well. The swarming of flying ants helps in maintaining the ecological balance of nature.
Such swarming is an important food resource for several bird species that prey upon them. Black garden ant and Cornfield ant particularly contribute to the survival of silver-studded blue butterflies as the flying ants protect the caterpillars from predators.
Therefore, keeping them away from your home is unquestionably a better idea than killing them. You can prefer organic and natural DIY solutions to harmful chemicals that can even harm you. You can even grow insect repellent plants. If the problem aggravates to the extent that none of the above domestic remedies work, do not shy away from seeking professional help.
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