Flying ants

Flying ants

Identyfication

Colour

The color of flying ants varies by species. Most have black or dark brown bodies with lighter wings. Some have reddish-brown or yellowish-brown bodies. Only certain ants have wings, produced for reproduction. Worker ants do not have wings and have a distinct body shape from reproductive ants.

Size

Flying ants come in different sizes, ranging from 1-20 mm in length depending on the species, age, and developmental stage.

Habitat

Ants can be found in diverse habitats, ranging from forests to deserts, and they nest in the ground, under rocks, logs, or within trees.

Control

Controlling flying ants involves sealing entry points, storing food in sealed containers, reducing moisture, and using non-toxic insecticides or natural repellents. Professional pest control may be necessary for severe infestations. Preventative measures can help avoid future infestations.

Flying ants

Flying ants are a common sight during the summer months in the UK. This phenomenon, known as “flying ant day,” occurs when winged reproductive ants emerge from their nests in large numbers to mate and establish new colonies. The sight of swarms of flying ants can be both impressive and unsettling, and many homeowners may be concerned about the impact of these insects on their homes and gardens. However, flying ants play an important role in the ecosystem, and understanding their behavior and biology can help homeowners take steps to prevent infestations and coexist with these fascinating insects. In this article, we will explore the biology of flying ants, the causes and timing of swarms, and methods for preventing and managing infestations in the UK.

What are flying ants?

Flying ants, also known as alates, are reproductive ants that have the ability to fly. They are part of the ant life cycle and are produced by ant colonies once a year during the mating season. The flying ants are responsible for the reproduction and continuation of the colony. During this time, female and male ants grow wings and take flight to mate with ants from other colonies. Once mating is complete, the male ants die and the females shed their wings and return to the ground to establish a new colony. Flying ants play an important role in the ecosystem as they help to aerate soil and distribute nutrients. They also serve as a food source for many other animals, including birds and other insects.

Do all ants have wings?

No, not all ants have wings. The presence of wings is actually a distinguishing feature of reproductive ants, which are also known as alates or swarmers. Only a small portion of an ant colony is made up of winged individuals, and they are produced by the colony once a year during the mating season. 

 

These winged ants mate in mid-air and then the males die while the females shed their wings and start a new colony. The majority of ants in a colony are worker ants, which are responsible for tasks such as foraging, caring for the young, and defending the colony. Worker ants do not have wings and have a distinctly different body shape from the reproductive alates. So, in summary, only certain ants have wings, and these winged individuals are produced for the specific purpose of reproduction.

Do queen ants have wings?

Queen ants can have wings or be wingless, depending on the species. In some ant species, the queen ant is a winged alate, which is responsible for flying and mating during the colony’s annual reproductive cycle. In other ant species, the queen is wingless, and she stays within the nest, laying eggs and tending to the young. In species where the queen ant has wings, she will usually shed them after mating and will then establish a new colony as the egg-laying queen. The presence or absence of wings in the queen ant is determined by the genetics of the species and their particular life cycle. So, in summary, some species of queen ants have wings, while others do not.

Flying ant swarms

Flying ant swarms, also known as “flying ant day,” is a phenomenon that occurs once a year in many ant species. During this time, winged reproductive ants, also known as alates, emerge from their nests in large numbers and take flight to mate with ants from other colonies. This usually happens during warm, humid weather, typically after a rain shower.

Flying ant swarms can be quite impressive, with thousands or even millions of ants taking to the air at the same time. They can be seen swarming around streetlights, trees, and other structures, and they may even be attracted to lights inside homes.

While flying ant swarms can be a nuisance, they are a natural and important part of the ant life cycle. The swarms allow for the mixing of genetic material between different ant colonies, which can increase the overall genetic diversity and health of the ant population.

After mating, the male ants die, and the females shed their wings and start new colonies as the egg-laying queens. The swarms typically last only a few hours, but the aftermath can sometimes be messy, with discarded wings and dead ants littering the ground.

In conclusion, flying ant swarms are a natural occurrence that happens annually in many ant species. While they may be a nuisance, they play an important role in the ant life cycle and help to maintain a healthy and diverse ant population.

When do flying ants swarm?

Flying ant swarms, also known as “flying ant day,” is a phenomenon that occurs once a year in many ant species. During this time, winged reproductive ants, also known as alates, emerge from their nests in large numbers and take flight to mate with ants from other colonies. This usually happens during warm, humid weather, typically after a rain shower.

Flying ant swarms can be quite impressive, with thousands or even millions of ants taking to the air at the same time. They can be seen swarming around streetlights, trees, and other structures, and they may even be attracted to lights inside homes.

While flying ant swarms can be a nuisance, they are a natural and important part of the ant life cycle. The swarms allow for the mixing of genetic material between different ant colonies, which can increase the overall genetic diversity and health of the ant population.

After mating, the male ants die, and the females shed their wings and start new colonies as the egg-laying queens. The swarms typically last only a few hours, but the aftermath can sometimes be messy, with discarded wings and dead ants littering the ground.

In conclusion, flying ant swarms are a natural occurrence that happens annually in many ant species. While they may be a nuisance, they play an important role in the ant life cycle and help to maintain a healthy and diverse ant population.

Starting a new colony

When winged reproductive ants mate in mid-air, the males die, and the females shed their wings to start new colonies as egg-laying queens. The queen ant finds a suitable location to establish a nest, lays eggs and cares for the young until the emergence of worker ants. Worker ants take over tasks of foraging and caring for the young while the queen ant lays eggs to maintain colony growth.

Some ant species, such as the Argentine ant, have developed a different way of mating called “budding”. Budding involves a queen ant leaving the original colony with a few workers to establish a new nest, rather than a swarm of winged reproductive ants. This method helps the ants to establish new colonies more quickly and efficiently than through swarming. Overall, starting new ant colonies is important for maintaining the health and diversity of ant populations, and different species have developed unique strategies for doing so.

Flying ants in homes

Flying ants can be a common sight in homes during the mating season, especially if there is an ant colony nearby. While they may be a nuisance, they are not harmful to humans and do not cause any damage to the property.

To prevent flying ants from entering your home, it’s important to seal any gaps or cracks in walls, doors, and windows. Keep food stored in sealed containers and clean up any spills or crumbs promptly to avoid attracting the ants.

If you do find flying ants in your home, there are several ways to get rid of them. One option is to vacuum them up with a hose attachment or sweep them up with a broom and dustpan. Another option is to use a non-toxic insecticide spray or bait designed specifically for ants.

It’s worth noting that simply getting rid of the flying ants you see does not solve the problem, as there may be an ant colony nearby. To prevent future infestations, it’s important to locate and eliminate the colony itself. This can be a difficult task and may require the assistance of a pest control professional.

How to get rid of flying ants

To get rid of flying ants, there are several methods you can use, depending on the severity of the infestation:

  1. Vacuum them up: Use a hose attachment to vacuum up the flying ants. This is a quick and easy method to get rid of them, but it only removes the ants you can see.
  2. Seal entry points: Seal any gaps or cracks in walls, doors, and windows to prevent flying ants from entering your home.
  3. Non-toxic insecticides: Use non-toxic insecticides that are designed specifically for ants. These insecticides can be sprayed or applied as bait, and they will kill the ants without harming humans or pets.
  4. Natural repellents: Certain essential oils, such as peppermint, tea tree, or cinnamon, can repel ants. Mix a few drops of the oil with water and spray it in areas where you see the ants.
  5. Professional pest control: If the infestation is severe or the ants keep coming back, it may be necessary to call in a professional pest control service.

Remember, getting rid of the flying ants you see does not solve the problem completely. To prevent future infestations, it’s important to locate and eliminate the ant colony itself. This can be a difficult task and may require the assistance of a pest control professional.

How to prevent flying ants

To prevent flying ants, it’s important to understand their behavior and biology. Flying ants are reproductive ants that emerge from their nests once a year during the mating season. They are attracted to sugary foods and moisture, and they can enter homes through small gaps and cracks in walls, doors, and windows.

To prevent flying ants, you can take the following steps:

  1. Seal entry points: Seal any gaps or cracks in walls, doors, and windows to prevent ants from entering your home. This can be done using caulk or weatherstripping.
  2. Keep food sealed: Store food in sealed containers to avoid attracting ants. Keep counters and floors clean to remove any food residue that could attract ants.
  3. Reduce moisture: Fix any leaks in pipes or faucets and use a dehumidifier to reduce moisture in your home. Ants are attracted to moisture, and reducing it can help prevent infestations.
  4. Trim plants and trees: Keep plants and trees trimmed away from the house, as they can provide a pathway for ants to enter.
  5. Use ant repellents: Certain essential oils, such as peppermint, tea tree, or cinnamon, can repel ants. However, their effectiveness in preventing ant infestations is still being researched.

By taking these preventative measures, you can reduce the likelihood of a flying ant infestation in your home or surrounding area. However, it’s important to note that some ant species may still find a way to enter your home, and if you do notice a swarm of flying ants, it’s important to take action promptly to prevent them from entering your home.

Professional ant control

Professional ant control is an effective way to manage and eliminate ant infestations, especially if the infestation is severe or difficult to control with home remedies. Professional ant control services typically involve the following steps:

  1. Inspection: A pest control professional will inspect your property to identify the type of ant species present and locate the source of the infestation.
  2. Treatment plan: Based on the inspection, the pest control professional will develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific situation. This may involve using insecticides, baits, or other methods to eliminate the ants.
  3. Treatment application: The pest control professional will apply the chosen treatment to the affected areas of your home, such as cracks, crevices, or other entry points.
  4. Follow-up visits: Ant control treatments may require follow-up visits to ensure that the infestation has been completely eliminated.

Professional ant control services can be a highly effective way to eliminate ant infestations, and they can also help to prevent future infestations by identifying and addressing potential entry points for ants. It’s important to choose a reputable pest control company that uses safe and effective methods for ant control, and to follow their instructions for preparing your home for treatment and minimizing the risk of exposure to the treatment chemicals.

Types of ants

    Pest Problems?

    Advice if you think you may have a pest infestation

    Cockroach signs
    How to get rid of mice
    How to get rid of rats
    Request free pest control quote
    Investment Opportunities

    Select a service from our wide range of pest control services and treatments we offer.
    If you’re in Greater London and you need help with pest control, Bon Accord has local pest control technicians near you to provide assistance. For over 15 years, Bon Accord UK has been one of the leading providers of pest control solutions in the UK. Our robust methodology ensures that we are able to provide localised service to both residential and commercial clients who require pest control solutions.

    Karin HarndenKarin Harnden
    17:14 05 May 24
    We thought we had bedbugs but could find no evidence apart from what we thought were bites. I called Bon Accord and Gabriel was there within a couple of hours. He told us we had carpet beetle. Finding the evidence and showing us photos of the skin reaction which was exactly what we had. He advised and returned at a time to suit us to spray which was done thoroughly and efficiently. No sign of the little critters returning. Thank you Gabriel.
    Luiza LoboLuiza Lobo
    21:02 11 Apr 24
    Gabriel went above and beyond. He is extremely knowledgable and very efficient at what he does. The results were outstanding. Nothing is too much for him. Delighted with his professionalism and work.
    sam zsam z
    19:11 03 Apr 24
    Top-notched pest control service!! Went above and beyond to eradicate the rats from our property. Gabriel even offered to further investigate the infestation issues for our neighbours. We found him to be extremely professional and easy to work with. We highly recommend Gabriel to anyone in need of pest control.
    LondonLondon
    23:29 02 Apr 24
    Gabriel provided great service , responded quickly on an emergency for pest infestation, professional and friendly. No more pests at home.
    Felicity GrayFelicity Gray
    21:53 02 Apr 24
    Gabriel was absolutely wonderful, a real life saver when I found a mouse by my bed at 10pm. He came in less than an hour and was able to catch the mouse and put my mind at rest so I could go to sleep! Highly recommend, fab service and lovely people.
    Med KashaniMed Kashani
    10:54 24 Feb 24
    Gabriel turned up with an hours notice one evening and immediately identified the issued. He works efficiently and professionally throughout with timely follow-ups to ensure the problem was resolved. Once completed he was kind enough to continue to check in to see that the issue had gone. Having had Rentokil previously that spent two years doing very little this was a complete breathe of fresh air and solved the problem in less than two weeks. We are grateful and would highly recommend his services.
    Nesma TalaatNesma Talaat
    20:26 20 Feb 24
    We were lucky to have found Bon Accord, they responded very fast to our request and Gabriel was very helpful and informative. He made several visits and did his absolute best until the mice problem we had was gone. Highly recommended.
    js_loader

    At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio digni goikussimos ducimus qui to bonfo blanditiis praese. Ntium voluum deleniti atque.

    Melbourne, Australia
    (Sat - Thursday)
    (10am - 05 pm)