At Bug Blasters in Post Falls, Idaho, we don’t just get calls for the pests everyone expects to become a problem from time to time. We also get calls from people who spot something they didn’t know existed. One pest that might put you on edge is flying ants. Seeing ants with wings is more common than you might think, but the real problem comes into play when they shed their wings because they’ve arrived at their destination – your home! Here are a few things you should know about flying ants:
- Males and queens take flight- It is the queen and her entourage of males looking to set up a new ant colony that sprout wings to make the journey. The queens are looking for males from other colonies to mate with as well.
- Just a normal species- Winged ants aren’t a different species. They are just normal ant species that has made a short-term change in their biology to suit the task at hand.
- Seasonal- You won’t see winged ants all year long, just during swarm season when it is more humid and hotter.
- Swarming- The reason they swarm together is for protection and to increase the likelihood of achieving their mating goals. There may be a lot around on one day, but generally you’ll notice them over a month or two.
- Harmless- The winged ants are no threat to your home or to you if you happen to run into a swarm when out for a jog. It isn’t until they reach their destination that they can be a problem.
- Signs of winged ants- When they reach their destination, the queen bites off her wings. You’ll see plenty of discarded wings if your home is where they decided to settle. If you see a swarm, you’ll be able to spot the queens because they are far larger than the males.