Flying ants may be something you expected to see only in conjunction with flying pigs. But, the reality is flying ants are a common occurrence especially during the summer months. If the flying ants are in the house, there may be bigger problems underfoot, literally.
Flying ants are reproductive female ants that have been expelled from their home colony to begin a colony of their own. One or two flying ants in your house should not cause concern, as the ants may have found their way in through a doorway or windowsill. Nonetheless, you’ll want to squish the flying ants you see so they do not create their colonies inside your home. On the other hand, several flying ants in the house may indicate a thriving ant infestation or nest inside of or underneath your home, especially if you spot flying ants during winter months.
The most common types of flying ants seen inside a house are carpenter ants and pharaoh ants. However, flying ants may originate from colonies of any type of ant. The summer season, May through October, is the mating season for most ant types and therefore the most probable time to experience flying ants. If flying ants are in the house, you will need to assess the size of the problem: are there just a few flying ants or swarms of them? Swarms of flying ants are a strong indication that you need to treat your home for an ant infestation. (As a side note, many people confuse termites for flying ants, but termites emerge in the springtime and have straight antennae.)
To handle an ant infestation, you may use a variety of methods. Insecticide dusts are effective on most ant colonies, including carpenter ants, but you may need to drill holes in the walls of your home to penetrate the nest and distribute the dust where the ants are most vulnerable. Remove natural bridges, such as branches of trees that brush up against the walls of the home. Caulk and repair cracks in baseboards and other areas of the home. Apply insecticide on doorsills, windowsills, and other places of entry. Insecticide baits may actually drive the colony into deeper hiding places but may prove somewhat effective. If all else fails and you suspect an ongoing infestation, enlist the help of a professional.
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