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Flying ants

If you've spotted discarded wings or have seen small, darkly-colored, insects with wings on the walls, crawling along the floor or clinging to curtains around your property, you might experience a feeling of dread. You may have heard of both flying termites and flying ants, but which one do you have? Do you need to worry about the costs of termite damage or are you worried about an ant colony setting up shop in your house?

Flying ants may appear during winter months, as the ant colonies start looking to expand into new areas by creating new nests. This could mean your home or building may already have another ant problem elsewhere.

Western Exterminator specialists know the difference between flying ants and termites. Our experts will inspect your property, find where the ants are coming from and how they got inside, discuss treatment options with you and help get rid of flying ants. If you have an ant problem contact your local Western Exterminator office today.

Why do ants fly?

As you may know, ants create large colonies. There are scout ants, worker ants, soldier ants and a queen ant somewhere in the heart of the colony producing eggs and helping continue the colony through breeding. However, when things get too crowded, it's time for new queen ants to be born, leave the colony and start anew.

Flying ants emerge when it's time for them to breed. A queen ant and several male ants will leave the original colony on a nuptial flight. When the ants find a suitable spot, they land, discard their wings and begin building a new nest. Eventually, the worker ants will build the colony around the queen who will set about laying eggs so the colony can grow.

Flying ants vs. flying termites

Termites and ants are often confused with one another. With just a quick glance, it may not be easy to know if you're looking at an ant problem or a termite problem. However, there are some very noticeable differences between flying ants and flying termites. These include:

  • Body color - Termites tend to be light brown or even golden in color. Flying ants have dark-colored bodies.
  • Shape of the waist - Termites look as if they have a head, then just a body, without much in the way of separated segments. Ants have a narrow waist connecting the head and bottom of the abdomen. If the insect has a waist, then it's an ant.
  • Antenna shape - Termites have short, straight antennae. Flying ant species have bent antenna.
  • Wings - Termites have double sets of wings roughly the same size. Flying ants have two sets of wings, but the hindwings are shorter than the forewings. Termite wings are also longer than their bodies.

Flying ant swarms

Flying ants are known to swarm throughout the course of a year when the young ants determine it's time to mate and start a new colony. This is why you'll suddenly see dozens of flying ants or ants with wings clinging to walls, curtains, windows and elsewhere around your house. Flying ants are in search of an ideal location to begin this new colony and also for suitable mates. Soon, after they find a suitable place to set up their new nest, their wings will drop off and they'll go into hiding.

These flying ant swarming flights often follow a heavy rain, but they can also occur at other times. Consequently, rainy seasons see elevated flying ant populations. But because ant populations are constantly evolving and expanding, swarms can take place at any time of the year.

Risks of a flying ant infestation

There are various ant species that have flying ants, such as carpenter ants and pharaoh ants. Though carpenter ants have many damaging tendencies, flying ants themselves are not generally dangerous to humans. The main concern that accompanies flying ants is that they are indicative of a potential ant infestation. If not controlled in a timely manner, a couple of winged ants can begin a new colony that turns into a full-blown problem on your property.

Western Exterminator can get rid of flying ants

If you see flying ants around your home, you may have a much larger ant problem than just the current infestation. Most likely, the ants you've spotted are part of a larger colony which has now gotten so big, the ants are flying to start a new colony. This is why just spraying the ants you see on your floor or in your living room may not completely solve the problem.

There may be spaces in the walls or structure where ants are getting inside your home or building. Carpenter ants could be chewing up the wooden structures around your property. Getting rid of flying ants and the ant colony they came from involves understanding where ants hide, determining the species of ant and finding the most effective solution to remove the entire ant colony.

Western Exterminator specialists can tell right away if you have a problem with termites, ants or both. Our specialists are trained to find where and how the ants are getting inside, track down the nest and work with you to create a treatment program that will work.

Contact Western Exterminator for flying ant treatments

If you don't want to try dealing with an ant infestation on your own, contact your local Western Exterminator office today. We'll set up an initial property inspection to track down where the ants are located and then discuss with you the solution which will work to get rid of flying ants and then prevent their return.

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