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How to Get Rid of Ants with Wings: Helpful Tips

by Martha Simmonds

Ants are known for having one of the most structured colonies in the animal kingdom. Each ant in a colony serves a specific purpose to ensure the colony survives and that they keep doubling and tripling their population. One such type of ant is an ant that flies. You may be surprised to learn that ants are not just tiny insects scurrying around — there are ants with wings, too!

Here’s everything you need to know about ants with wings, what purpose these wings serve, and more importantly, how to get rid of them.

What Are Ants with Wings?

Ants with Wings

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For many of us, the word “ants” paints the all-too-familiar picture of tiny black and brown, something red, insects scuttling along a long line, each carrying a tiny morsel of food. You see them scavenging for food and then dutifully returning home to their colonies.

But did you know that there are ants with wings? And yes, they can fly.

Most of the ant population doesn’t have wings, but a few are equipped with wings. These are alates, a subgroup of the ant population that serve a very specific purpose.

Winged ants are the ones selected for the reproduction process. From one ant colony, all male ants and one female ant, which is the queen, are alates. So, all the flying ants you see have set out to essentially mate and create a new ant colony.

The drones or the flying male ants have the primary responsibility of fertilizing the eggs. After doing their part, these flying ants die within a matter of days or up to two weeks after mating.

As for the queen ant, she sets out to find a nest, chews off her wings, and starts creating her colony with her fertilized eggs.

Are Winged Ants Harmful?

Ants with wings are not dangerous. They are not a threat to you and your family as they are only interested in mating. Although having these uninvited guests swarming in your home can be a nuisance.

Some ant species, however, like the fire ants tend to sting during their mating flights but only to protect themselves from immediate danger. Additionally, even flying fire ants are so preoccupied with their mission of finding a mate that, unless severely provoked, they simply move on.

Where Do You Usually See Ants with Wings?


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You will typically find ants with wings near suitable nesting areas. These ants have certain requirements for their mating locations.

For starters, flying ants prefer warm weather, so you can expect to see them swarming during the summer. They are also attracted to bright lights and will generally head to your porch, garden, and even inside your house toward light sources.

These ants also prefer more humid spots, with the preferred humidity being up to 5 days after the rain. Then, when the sun has warmed up, you’ll see them in areas with wood.

Whether it is completely dry wood or damp, wet, or almost rotting wood, ants with wings will be there.

Ways to Get Rid of Ants with Wings

Get Rid

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Ants with wings are only seen during the hot summer days. If you’ve been seeing them frequently in winter, you may have a possible infestation.

These ants don’t go on their nuptial flights during the winter, so having them around during the cold season means they’ve selected a spot inside or near your home as their new nesting ground.

Remember that the primary goal of these winged insects is to multiply their population. So, you have to be alert and proactive once you see these ants and prevent the queen ant from laying her eggs.

Here are some of the ways to get rid of ants with wings:

#1. Use Insecticidal Dust

Intended explicitly for carpenter ants, which can be destructive to homes, insecticidal dust is the best solution to use indoors. It is injected into the identified nest.

The challenge of using insecticidal dust, however, is getting it injected inside the territory. So, you may need to drill some holes to get the dust in.

#2. Sealing Their Entryways

Blocking the ant’s entry points will prevent them from moving further inside your home. This is a working solution if the infestation hasn’t happened yet.

Make sure that the cracks on your wood and in window panels are sealed, and then turn your attention to eradicating the colony.

#3. Relying on Bait

Another option you can consider to eradicate ants with wings is bait. Expect the result to be slower, but this is a safer alternative.

When buying bait, make sure that you check the labels because there are certain baits for specific ants. Most likely, the uninvited guests in your home are carpenter ants, so purchase one that’s intended for this kind.

Foraging insects will carry the bait to their colony, which will, in time, eliminate their colony including the queen ant.

In every ant removal process, your main goal should be to kill the queen ant. Not doing so will allow her to replace the killed ants with new eggs, and by next summer, their number will return to normal.

#4. Spray Away with Insecticides

Although this is not a permanent fix, it can help reduce the population of winged ants. You can spray insecticide on an area where you see the ants frequently.

However, note that it will only impact the ants currently on that spot. The rest of the colony will be safe and sound.

#5. Use Deterrents to Discourage The Ants from Entering Your Home

Organic deterrents like cayenne pepper, cinnamon, lemon juice, mint, and peppermint can be highly unappealing to flying ants.

It’ll cause these ants to look for another place to establish their nest proactively.

#6. Call The Professionals

When all else fails, contact professional exterminators or pest control. They will assess and inspect the area and damage and discuss with you the most viable options to get rid of the flying ants.

Featured image source: Pinterest.com

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