Ants With Wings

What are Ants with wings?

All we know about Ants is that they just crawl everywhere and gather food for their colonies and all of a sudden become “flying ants.” They do grow a pair of wings and fly. The Queen Ant and Mature Male Ant grow wings in order to reproduce.

ants with wings

Once a year, colonies of ants disperse winged, queen virgin ants and male ants with wings. This usually happens on a clear night for rain would be disturbing the vigorous mating course. The queen ants are visibly larger than the male winged ants. Nonetheless, males might be smaller but they are like homing missiles to queens when these reproductive ants take flight in a so called Nuptial flight.

During a nuptial flight, the queen ants do play hard to get. Teasing and flying away from her suitors is just part of the mating game for she must find the right male to fertilize her egg. Only the fittest, fastest and deserving male ants do get the golden prize and fertilize the eggs that lay on the Queen’s abdomen, Sparmatheca; where the sperm cell can be stored for the whole lifetime during fertilization and can be used as many times to fertilize millions of eggs. The male ants usually die after the mating process due to the bursting of their genitalia when they succeed on fertilizing the eggs.

On the other hand, the Queen lands on the earth, looks for a new colony and spends the rest of her life lying, eating food being served by the worker ants, and giving birth to new larvae to inhabit her colony.

Two types of Black and Red Color ants with wings

  • Red ants with wings – In general, the colors do have their meaning. The Alates, winged Red ants, its colors itself says, “I bite and I am painful”; are noxiously known to bite and inflict agonizing pain on or in a worst case scenario, they kill people in large swarm. They are very territorial and finding them at your home is just a nightmare. Their bites leave a chemical known as Formic acid on the victim’s skin, making it swollen, itchy and leave blisters. Do contact local pest control services if they’re found in your home.
  • Black ants with wings – The Black winged ants are just the total opposite of the Red ones. They are just harmless ants that contribute a lot in the ecosystem. They forage on dead animals for food and are great decomposers which sustain the soil with rich nutrients.

A combination of Black and Red colored ants are painful and harmless.

How to get rid of ants with wings?

Mating season has come and nuptial flight scenes will be common. Seeing these flying pests in swarms may pose a backbreaking challenge for homeowners and it’s not a good site either. Taking necessary steps to exterminate swarms or even prevention is the great key to ensure no vast quantities of wings will be seen on the floor after mating season is over. In that case, mating was a success.

Colonies of ants will be popping in different spots of your home in days’ time. Exterminating colonies of formidable flying ants will lessen the burden of cleaning and hampers them from invading your home.

Find the colony

Looking for ant nest might be a tedious and risky job. Wiping out the ant colony before mating season will avert the swarm of flying ants, with the use of baiting gels or even household sugar blocks. Ants will break out from their colonies in search of the bait.  Track down and annihilate the colony and exterminate the Queen.

Home Analysis

Home inspection is one of the best preliminary measures. Flying ants can be found in the least suspecting places. It might be in your living room, bathroom or even worst, in the bedroom. A simple spraying of aerosol pesticide will do the job; one puff of that pesticide spray and they’re good as gone.

Properly block off access points

Making sure that small access way is sealed shut is also a good practice.  These pesky winged ants are masters of going through the smallest holes and crevices of your home. You can avoid this kind of problem with the use of silicone seal that you can get at the hardware store. Make sure to put proper amount of sealant to all cracks and openings to your house to limit or keep clear the number of flying intruders. It’s a cheaper way, rather than paying thousands for home repair.

Tips:

  • Proper gardening will ensure that ants will not have a chance to set up a colony.
  • Witnessing flying ants only last a short period of time. A wise practice is to eliminate them as soon as you see them around your home or nearby.
  • Be wise on controlling ant colonies. At times they could be really tricky to handle and always do have a backup plan.
  • Operate chemical pesticides with caution. Use gloves and ask when using them.
  • Flying ants love sugar and sweets. Store sugars or sweets in an airtight container.

References

Sources:

➢ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuptial_flight

➢ http://www.orkin.com/ants/winged-ants/

➢ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ant

Books:

➢ The Ants, Bert Hölldobler, Edward O. Wilson, 1990

➢ Taxonomy, Phylogeny, and zoogeography of Beetles and Ants, Philip Jackson Darlington, ‎George E. Ball , 1985

➢ Ants,Gary, J. Skiiner, Geoffrey W. Allen, 2013

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