Seeing a swarm of winged insects – hundreds of thousands of them – is the stuff of nightmares. But rest your fears as some of these insects may be flying ants, especially if you see them during the summer months.
What are these winged bugs? Is there a “Flying Ants Day” in Australia? Why does it happen and how can you deal with it?
What Are Flying Ants?
These are fertile male and female ants that are ready to reproduce and build a new colony. When this phase of their reproduction cycle hits, they take flight in the form of a swarm and breed mid-air.
However, you need to take a closer look since those winged insects that look like flying ants could be flying termites, and vice versa. It is common to mistake one for the other, especially from afar. How are flying ants different from flying termites?
Here is how these two insects differ:
• Bent antennae
• Their abdomens are narrow
• Unequal length wings, with the fore wings much bigger than the hind wings
• Wings are as long as, or slightly longer, than the body and have dark veins
• They don’t readily shed their wings
• Straight antennae
• Straight abdomen
• Wings are of equal length and much longer than their bodies
• Wings appear with indistinct patterns
• They shed their wings readily
When Is Flying Ants Day?
Flying ants swarm commonly occurs during summer, and factors such as weather, humidity and wind conditions must be ideal for it to happen. There is no sign that triggers flying ants to swarm.
A swarm is massive to ensure breeding between male and female flying ants is successful, and accordingly the establishment of a new colony. A huge number of ants in a swarm will die within a day because of birds that prey on them for food.
When to Call the Professionals
Flying ants can enter your home or place of business through visible cracks and crevices. Seal them to prevent these pests from invading your space. Also, always keep your doors and windows closed, or install a fly screen so you can open them and let the air in during the hot months.
If you suspect an ant infestation, seek the services of a professional pest control company. Contact Bob Gunn Termite Solutions to help you identify and control your ant problem. Call us today to request a FREE quote.