Swarms of flying ants are common after heavy periods of rain. They love to find higher ground in order to mate, and sometimes this means a house is a likely target. While it may seem like a terrible threat, it is mostly an inconvenience and it is not hard to get treated. If you see a winged insect in your home it is important to get it looked at, however, because termites are often mistaken for flying ants. The two look very similar, but there is a simple way to tell the difference.
Female Flying Ants are Bigger
Female flying ants are bigger and stronger than their male counterparts. Often worker ants of the colony are females that cannot reproduce, and instead contribute to the group by foraging for food.
Both winged and wingless ants work together to form a colony in order to support the queen. After she has mated, her offspring help the community grow.
Swarms Result After Heavy Rain
If you see a swarm of flying ants, chances are they have left their colony after a few days of heavy rain.. All of these flying ants that emerge are ready to find a place to mate, and it’s often triggered by other colonies. Swarms can last a few hours and sometimes even a few days.
Found in High Places
“Hilltopping” refers to the act of flying ants finding high ground after they emerge from their colony in order to find a suitable place to reproduce. Often they find a tree or a house to fly to and start reproduction.
Male Ants and their Important Purpose
After successfully mating, a male ant will die leaving the females to the task of setting up a colony. This may seem like a sad end for the males, but in truth they are an important part of the structure of a colony.
Queen Ants Shed Their Wings
Any queen ant in a colony used to have wings like the rest of the flying ant workers. After mating they usually shed their wings, and then the muscles previously used for wings become an important part of nutrients.
Flying Ants vs Winged Termites
Flying ants and termites look very similar and are often mistaken for each other. In order to easily distinguish between the two, observe the antennae. Flying ants have a crooked, or elbowed, antennae while termites have a straight antennae.
Flying ants can often worry those who do not know much about them, especially when they can be seen in swarms. However, they are harmless to us and contribute greatly to a healthy ecosystem. Sometimes an infestation of flying ants in a home can indicate an already existing colony, in which case it must be taken care of. For more information on pest control and what you can do if there are flying ants in your home, contact Mr. Pest Control toll free at: 1-888-794-PEST(7378)