You may have noticed a swarm of flying ants this summer. Conditions have to be just right for them to appear; they’re usually triggered by hot and humid weather in July or August. Single-queen colonies are territorial and reprodce by swarming. Mating flights usually begin about 10am, 1-2 days following a rain if it is warm, sunny and not very windy. During these special conditions, winged males and new queens of the same species take flight. The new queens are looking to mate with males from different colonies in order to set up new nests of their own. A benefit to the ants appearing in such large numbers is that it helps protect them from predators. Flying together all at once also increases chances of finding mates.
Contrary to what some might think, these flying ant swarms are not harmful but can be a bit of a nuisance. If you take a closer look at the swarm, you’ll notice that some of the ants are much larger than the others. These beauties are the queens, and they can grow up to 15mm in length. After mating, queens chew off their wings and crawl looking for a place to dig a new nest. This is why you can sometimes find discarded wings on the ground or floor of your home.
Thankfully, swarming does not happen frequently. One option to get rid of flying ants is to vacuum them up and dispose of them if they are visible. Because they can enter your home through cracks and crevices, the best defense is to seal these problem areas. Keep your counters and floors free of crumbs. Eliminating their entry points and source of food will make your home less appealing to any kind of ant. Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions. Please like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram!