Dealing with ants is usually a problem. These tiny creatures can be a nuisance. You have to not only kill them but kill the queen if you desire to get rid of the entire colony. Now think of the menace flying ants could cause. How do you get rid of flying ants? What are the best and effective methods including natural remedies to effectively get rid of flying ants?
Flying ants emerge in swarms and can cause havoc especially when they enter your home. Luckily winged-ants are not dangerous. But their presence in your house is intimidating. What are flying ants? How do they look like? Do they bite? These are some of the questions probably running through your mind.
Learn more about these pests, the things that cause them to invade your house. This post will direct you in details on how to get rid of flying ants effectively and tips to prevent them from coming back. We have also discussed natural remedies to get rid of them. In the post, you will find the best commercial products that kill the ants immediately.
What are Flying Ants?
Flying ants just like any other species of ants are not unique. They belong to different species of ants like the fire ants, carpenter ants, sugar ants among many others. They are known as the reproductive species of an ant colony. In general, most species of ants have these flying reproductive ants which consist of both male and female.
Flying ants are made up of the males referred to as drones and the females, the queen. When the male is done with mating they end up dying. The females once they are done with mating, they end up losing their wings. In the process they will look for a new nest where they will establish a new colony.
What Causes Flying Ants to Enter your House?
Generally, ants will come into your house for some reason. It is a common sight to see ants invading your house for basically food, water and warmth. Flying ants invading your house often evade the harsh weather condition such as rain or when it is too humid.
When they are ready to reproduce, the queen ants will grow wings and fly to the mate in an effort to start a new colony. The male will soon follow the queen and this could happen in your home. In this period, you are likely to see a large swarm of flying ants in your home but it happens for quite a short period of time. As soon as the mating process is done, the male ant will die while the queen will lose its wings. All these, is to establish a new colony and it could happen into your home. The ants can be a threat to you since they queen gets inside your home in readiness to building or establishing its’ colony.
How do Flying Ants Look Like?
It is important to know what flying ants look like. Some people confuse flying ants with termites. So what do they look like? Identifying flying ants shouldn’t be a problem.
Here are some of the key features to look for:
Termites – their wings are equal in length, the antennae is straight and so is the abdomen.
Flying ants – their wings are slightly unequal in length, their antennae is bent and their abdomen appear thin.
See image below to compare.
Do Flying Ants Bite?
Luckily flying ants are harmless, all they do is to look for a place to nest. This make it very highly unlikely to bite people or cause any bodily harm. Although a few cases have been reported of flying ants biting or stinging. However, the bites or sting are not harmful. There is no need for panic. These types of ants are simply for reproduction.
Other species such as the carpenter ants are more likely to bite especially those in their reproductive stage. The flying fire ants, harvester ants and acrobat ants are also likely to bite or sting. If you get a bite from these types of ants, run cold water on the affected area. You can also apply hydrocortisone cream or antihistamine to relieve the itching.
A severe case of bite that show symptoms such as dizziness, swelling of the throat, tongue or lips, shortness of breath or stomach pain, should be treated as an emergency.
How Long Do Flying Ants Live?
Flying ants as mentioned earlier is consist of the male, drone and the female, the queen. The male and the queen are the only flying ants in a colony. While the male dies immediately after mating, the queen can live for more than ten years. The male only survives a day or two after mating.
Do Flying Ants Cause Damage?
Most ant species do not cause any significant damage to your property. But still there presence is irritating. Unlike other ants, flying ants are the reproductive members if ant colony. An infestation of flying ants in your house is bothersome. It is costly in terms of the cost you will have to bear to get rid of them.
Carpenter ants are the ones known to cause structural damage especially on wooden structures. They are known to dig tunnels or burrows into woods where they create their nests. You should treat flying ant infestation as soon as you see them coming into your house. Target the queen before it builds a massive colony that may be hard to deal with if left untreated.
How to Get Rid of Flying Ants?
Flying ants are generally harmless. But their presences can be irritating. Strive to get rid of them as soon as you spot them coming into your house. There are several ways to get rid of these pests. The discussion below will focus on the main methods to get rid of flying ants as well as natural remedies to kill the ants.
Ant Baits and Traps
Ant baits and traps are some of the commonly used methods to get rid of ants including flying ants. Although baits are slowing killing, they are equally effective as insecticides and sprays. When the ants eat the poison usually laced with the ant’s favorite food, they will carry some of it to the colony where the queen is. As soon as the queen eats the bait, it will mark the end of the entire colony.
Here are some of the ants’ baits effective in killing of flying ants – check on amazon
You can also apply sprays on flying ants in your house to get rid of them. However, sprays are toxic methods of getting rid of flying ants in your house. Sprays kill flying ants on contact. Sprays will be ideal to get rid of a few flying ants. Be careful when using sprays since they are not only toxic to flying ants but also to humans and pets.
Sprays can be used to kill a few ants at time unless you intend to use the sprays that leave a residual effect behind. Sprays are more effective in dealing with ants around the perimeter of your home before the ants get into your home.
You can use zappers for both indoor and outdoor use. Zappers are electronic devices that produces very bright light to attract ants and pests and then killing then using an electronic grid. Some zappers are manufactured with chemicals that kill pests.
A zapper meant to be used for outdoor should be waterproof to keep them protected from the rain.
You can also get rid of flying ants successfully in your home with insecticides. When using insecticides, make sure you read the label and follow the instructions. This is important as it helps human and pets safe. Insecticides are toxic and can be harmful. Some insecticides kill the ants on contact while others have to be combined in plants to kill the ants when they eat the chemicals in them.
Natural Methods to Get Rid of Flying Ants
Other than commercial products, you can use natural methods to get rid of flying ants in your house. Natural methods are equally effective and non-toxic thus safe to use keeping your family and pets safe. Below are some of the natural home remedies to get rid of flying ants in your hosue.
Dish soap is one of the excellent natural home remedy to get rid of flying ants. Add dish washing soap to water in equal proportion. Place the mixture in spray bottle. Spray the flying ants. Do this several times for good results. Dish soap and water mixture kills the ants by dehydrating their bodies. The mixture is non-toxic and safe to use.
Another effective natural home remedy to get rid of flying ants is peppermint. It works by suffocation the ants to death. To make it even more lethal, you can add dishwashing soap and water just like described above.
Borax and Sugar
Borax and sugar also works magic. This natural remedy is effective in getting rid of flying ants in your house. Borax is toxic to ants. When you mix borax and sugar, the ants will be attracted to sugar not knowing the sugar is laced with borax, the poison meant to kill them.
When the flying ants eat the mixture, they will transfer some of it to the colony where the queen will also ingest and die. Make a paste of borax and sugar and place it on the infested areas. This remedy can be used both indoor and outdoor. But make sure the borax is kept away from the pets and children.
Vinegar is another effective natural home remedy to deal with all ant problem. All you have to do is to mix vinegar with water in equal proportion. Put the mixture in spray bottle and spray it on the flying ants. Vinegar has a strong that keeps ants away, other than just killing the ants.
Tips to Prevent Flying Ants Infestation
Here are some tips for you to prevent flying ants infestation.
- Seal up cracks in your windows and door to keep the flying ants away
Store your food properly. Although flying ants are only interested in reproduction, the other member of the colony are always in search of food. If they are deprived source of food, then it mean they relocate elsewhere.