When it comes to keeping your home pest free, it can frustrate when you can’t figure out which pest you are plagued with. The insects that people mistakenly identify the most are flying ants and flying termites. Both of these insects look very much alike, and to the untrained eye, it’s no wonder that they are often confused for one another.
As you continue reading this article, we will discuss the characteristics of flying ants, how to kill them, and even preventive measures you can take to safeguard your home from becoming infested with these winged nuisances.
Ready to re-take control of your home and (figuratively) kick these pests to the curb? Well let’s dive in, shall we?
What Do Flying Ants Look Like?
Did you know that there are many types of ants that produce flying ants? The most common type of flying ant you’ll see, however, is a winged carpenter ant. The sole purpose of a flying ant is to reproduce and create a new colony, and they can be identified by their appearance.
They have two sets of wings, one in the back, which is long, and one in the back, which is much shorter. The ants will be a brownish color, and they’ll also have a set of antennae on the top of their head that is bent like an elbow.
These characteristics are very similar to a flying termite, and it is because of that, many people who are trying to take care of their pest problem themselves often mistake the ant for a termite. Another difference between a flying ant and flying termite is that the ants have a corseted waist between the thorax and abdomen, whereas the termite’s body is more uniform and thick.
Do Flying Ants Bite?
Simply put, depending on the species, yes, they will bite if they feel like they are in danger. Also, some species of flying ants sting when they feel threatened.
Where Do Flying Ants Come From?
Flying ants come from a colony that is already established. Mature male and females will grow wings and take a flight to mate with other mature ants from other colonies. Then when the virgin queens have mated, they will go off and start a new colony.
How To Get Rid Of Flying Ants
If you happen to see a flying ant swarm, it’s very understandable that you will want to research how to kill flying ants and find the method that seems the most promising. Well, we’ve taken the research bit out of the equation and have gathered some of the most effective ways to get rid of these pests.
- Spray them with dish soap. Pour a little bit of dish soap into a spray bottle with water and then spray the ants. This mixture will dehydrate them and cling to their bodies, causing them to die. If you want a fast acting solution, you can use an ant spray to kill them.
- Find their nests. By looking for their nest, you’ll have a better chance to eradicate the flying ants (and possibly all other ants in the colony) once you find their nest. Lay out some bait for the ants and be patient. When you notice some ants taking the bait back to their nest, you’ll be able to take further steps in eliminating them from your home.
- Seal off any point of entry. If you cannot find the nest itself, you can do the next best thing and seal off any point of entry you may find. Before you seal off the entryway, you’ll want to apply an insecticide that’s made especially for ants and put it inside the hole. Then plug the hole with a silicone based caulk. It’s also a good idea that you seal any cracks or crevasses you may notice around the foundation, window, or wooden eaves of your home.
- Call and Exterminator. If you’ve taken these measures and your ant problem hasn’t gone away, you may want to call a licensed and insured exterminator to come and take care of the problem. Sometimes the problem is much more serious than you realize, and these trained professionals will be able to pinpoint the nests and satellite colonies, and quickly dispatch them.
How To Prevent Flying Ants From Returning
Once you have the ant problem taken care of, you’ll want to take certain measures to ensure they don’t return. You can do that by keeping any and all areas where food or garbage is kept clean. Ants won’t go anywhere if there isn’t a source of food.
In the case of possible flying ant sightings, you can keep a few natural, non-chemical, solutions around to repel them. These solutions can be made by one of the following ingredients with a bit of water:
- Peppermint oil
- Cinnamon leaf oil
- Lemon juice
Also, if you notice some ants around the outside of your home, plant some mint around the perimeter of your home (or where you are most likely to see the ants). Keep in mind that these solutions aren’t going to happen immediately, and they will take a little bit of time to be truly effective. It’s best if you start using these methods sooner rather than later.
Flying Ants: A Round-Up
Having flying ants is certainly a cause for concern—no one wants to feel like their home is being invaded by pests! However, you can handle the situation on your own without calling the professionals. It will require diligence and patience when trying to find the source of the ants, their nest, and stopping the problem from getting any worse.
However, you’ll find that once you do take care of the problem, you’ll be able to sleep a little better at night. For these sort of insect problems, it’s always best to act fast and follow preventive measures once the flying ants have been eliminated so that they don’t come back.