Swarms of flying ants in and around house is a common sight during summer and spring. Here are a few interesting facts about winged ants in home. You will also find some techniques to keep the infestation in check.
Ants are the most common household pests that infest northern and eastern states of United States. There are myriad varieties of this insect, from small harmless ones to large, poisonous ones. Flying ants are also not that uncommon, especially during summer. Swarms of flying ants can be easily seen at the onset of summer. Although, flying ant infestation is not necessarily dangerous, their alarming number may cause some nuisance.
How to Identify Flying Ants
Many people mistake flying ants for termites and vice-a-verse. However, the major difference between a flying ant and a termite is that, the thorax present in flying ant, is absent in a termite. The body of a flying ant can be distinctively divided into three regions, head, thorax and abdomen. You will need to note the difference between flying ants and termites, in order to adopt an appropriate method of eliminating them.
Causes of Flying Ants
Flying ants can be observed only for a day or two, during summer. There is a single mating day during which, the winged males roam in search of the queen, in order to mate. The swarms of winged males are mostly visible around the prominent landscapes, such as large trees, roofs of chimneys, etc. After mating, the males die within 2-3 days, while the queen takes off to begin a new colony. Thus, you won’t find the swarms of flying ants in the house for more than a day or two.
What Attracts Flying Ants?
Flying ants scavenge food remains, bread crumbs etc., in your kitchen. Thus, if you keep these leftovers open, during their mating season, you are likely to invite them in your house. Litter box also attracts swarms of flying ants for obvious reasons.
How to Get Rid of Flying Ants?
Flying ants usually need no exterminating measures, as they disperse on their own. However, if the flying ant problem in your house becomes particularly grave, you might want to exterminate flying ants. They respond to most of the pest control methods. However, consider getting rid of them with the help of pesticides only when other non-chemical methods fail. Destroying the colonies of flying ants around your house, prevents their infestation in near future. Following are some ways of getting rid of flying ants in house.
If you want to prevent the infestation of flying ants, get rid of waste in your kitchen first. Since, flying ants feed on the waste from kitchen, you should always keep your kitchen clean and devoid of any leftovers. Store leftovers in covered containers and also place a tight lid on the litter box.
Roof screening becomes a must in order to prevent entry of flying ants in house. Hence, during the mating season, always screen your roof. Although, summer is a common mating season for flying ants, their sighting in winter are also not uncommon. Additionally, you can also seal the crevices or gaps in the doors and windows.
Chemical method of exterminating flying ants becomes inevitable only when you have large swarms of flying ants inside your house. Any ordinary pesticide is enough to kill winged ants in house. However, you need to consult a professional for pest control, in case of heavy infestation, or if the ants are flying black ants (carpenter ants).
Flying ants are actually not an issue of concern, as they die within 2 – 3 days of mating. You can then just vacuum the dead ants. In short, they are harmless little creatures that can do without your attention.