Seeing winged ants is not a good sign. It means that these ants are ready to hook-up with other ants, breed, and reproduce thousands of other ants that may invade your homes.
Commonly termed to as “alates”, these flying ants engaged in a nuptial flight, an important reproduction phase in the life cycle of winged ants. During this process, virgin queen ants introduce genetic materials to the males, thereby attracting them. The males will then catch the queen ant. However, the queen will try to escape to test the fastest and fittest among her male suitors. This whole process all happens mid-air, with the queen taking a couple of suitors to store sperm in her abdomen. The collected sperm will be used to fertilize a million eggs and usually lasts for 20 years!
When the nuptial flight is finally completed, the male ants typically die two weeks after mating while the queen
We recommend three (3) things to do when you flying ants in your house:
- First is to spray the swarm with dishwashing soap. You can do this by mixing dishwashing liquid with soap and putting it in a spray bottle. Dishwashing liquid is an effective solution against winged ants because it dehydrates the ants causing them to stop flying.
- Second is to catch ants with a tape by laying a perimeter of adhesive type around a bait – a food source. When flying ants stick to the tape, they will not be able to fly.
- Third is to attack the ants with artificial sweetener which are toxic to ants. Artificial sweetener forms a viscous paste that the ants may carry back to their colony. If the ants there consumed the paste, they will die.
However, these three steps will not completely eradicate the existence of ants with wings. There is still a lot of steps to do in ensuring that winged ants are exterminated. By performing the steps above, there is no guarantee that all winged ants will be caught. Winged ants can move to another place when swarming, rendering the above solutions to be incomplete or temporary. Also, because the nuptial flight is a regular process in the life cycle of an adult ant, your house could still be in danger. Thus, the best thing that we can recommend when you see flying ants is to call for professional help. This way, you will not only be exterminating the swarm of ants, you will also be helped in checking for possible areas where the ants may setup their colonies. The solution will be more long-term and permanent.
Yellow Pages. (n.d.). Protect you home from invading flying ants with these 4 tips. In Home & Garden Section. Retrieved from https://www.yellowpages.ca/tips/protect-your-home-from-invading-flying-ants-with-these-4-tips/