A couple of flying ants in house are not dangerous for you. They could be seen only for a day and then they disperse widely in order to start new colonies. But when you see ant swarms in home, you should not ignore this. it is likely that a colony has already been established in your home. Is there any particular danger from these flying ants in your home? If yes, what problems can they cause and in what season they appear in your home? And the biggest question is how to get rid of flying ants in house? Let’s have answers for all these questions but first let’s know what are flying ants and why are they confused with termites!
What are Flying Ants?
As is clear from the name flying ants, they are ants with wings. Ants develop wings in their reproductive phase of life. Once the male and the female flying ants mate, the male flying ant dies. The female flying ant, however, only sheds its wings. It is the queen ant that survives this stage so that she can establish a colony of wingless ant workers. It takes them several years to rear reproductive ants with wings. Most of the winged ants are male and there are only few female ants with wings. This ensures that a new queen survives so as to establish new colonies of ants. The male flying ants are smaller in size when compared to the female flying ants.
How to differentiate between Flying Ants and Termites?
Termites also have wings in some seasons and they almost look like flying ants. So, it becomes important to identify and differentiate between termites and flying ants so that you can use proper methods to get rid of these insects.
When you see a live or a dead winged insect in your home, try to pay attention to their body structure and the wings. Termites with wings have a straight antennae and a broad waists. The wings of termite are all equal in length. On the other hand, winged ants have elbowed antennae and thin waists that constrict at the thorax (between the neck and the abdomen.) The rear wings of flying ants are smaller than their front wings.
In what season do Flying Ants appear?
When flying ants emerge in a swarm, it is for the purpose of mating. This usually happens after few days of heavy rain. However, it is not essential that flying ants in your house would appear after rains only. In fact, these ants behave according to the temperature, humidity, and the speed of the wind. Whenever these conditions are favorable for mating, flying ants can appear in swarm and this can be any time of the year.
What dangers can be posed by Flying Ants in Home?
Apart from the carpenter ants and pharaoh ants, other species of flying ants do not pose any threat to your health or home. They are just annoying. Who would like several ants with wings flying all around the house even if it is for a day or two! This annoyance only makes it important to get rid of flying ants. But getting rid of flying ants is become indispensable when they are carpenter ants or pharaoh ants. Carpenter ants are likely to damage wood and furniture. Pharaoh ants are a health hazard as they can spread diseases by contaminating even the sterilized things.
So, how to get rid of flying ants in your house! Let’s explore!
Steps and Remedies to Get Rid of Flying Ants in the House
To get rid of flying ants, first of all you need to find their nests. Only after you find the place where they have established their colony, can you take steps to eliminate these flying ants. This is only true in case of carpenter ants and pharaoh ants because usually these species only make way into your house and nest there. They can hide anywhere in your house- cabinet voids, refrigerator insulation, and even folded clothes that you leave untouched for several days together! Field ants do try to enter your house once in a while through cracks but they usually do not build nests inside home.
Search for Nests of Flying Ants in your House
Searching them is the first step to exterminate flying ants. They prefer dwelling in damp or moist environments. So, look into your wooden furniture like cabinets or wooden structures like rafters under the roof, porch, or window sills. If you have some areas that leak water, look there too. These can be anywhere, like in bathroom, or near the sink etc.
If you are able to find any such flying ant’s nests and see that there are only a handful of flying ants there, do not take extreme steps to exterminate these insects. Instead, you can use insect-killing aerosol or an ant spray to kill them. If you don’t like chemicals be used in your house, use some homemade ant spray. You will find many recipes of such homemade ant spray later in this article.
If you do not find any nest of flying ants in your home, you may use some other ways to repel or kill the few ants that have come into your house. Commercial aerosols are one of the best methods to get rid of smaller number of flying ants. An electric bug zapper is also useful to catch the flying ants. You may also use bug zapping rackets that are used to get rid of fleas and mosquitoes. These can kill the flying ants too. If, however, there are multiple colonies of flying ants in your house and it is a large scale infestation, you might also consider taking help of pest control services to get rid of flying ants in your home.
Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Flying Ants
Use Vinegar as Homemade Ant Spray to Kill Flying Ants
Vinegar is one of the traditional remedies to get rid of ants. You can use it to get rid of flying ants too. Acid is what seems to work in eliminating flying ants when you make a homemade ant spray using vinegar and water.
- Vinegar- 1 part
- Water- 1 part
- Spray bottle
- Take the equal amounts of vinegar and water
- Fill them in your spray bottle.
- Give it a good shake to mix both the solutions.
- Now spray this homemade ant spray in the nests of flying ants.
Use Dish Soap Spray to Get Rid of Flying Ants in your Home
Dish soap is not a friendly thing for ants. They kill the ants by sticking to their bodies and of course the soap renders their wings useless! This might be the cheapest way to get rid of flying ants because what you need is just a few drops of dish wash liquid and water!
- Dish washing liquid- 1 part
- Water- 3 parts
- Spray bottle
- Fill your spray bottle with water.
- Add the dish wash liquid to this.
- Now shake it to mix the soap and the water.
- Spray this homemade ant solution into the nest of the flying ants.
Lemon Juice Spray to Eliminate Flying Ants
Just as the acidic vinegar works for killing the flying ants, lemon juice also functions with its citric acid to help you get rid of these ants with wings.
- Lemon- 1-2
- Spray bottle
- Squeeze out the juice from the lemons. You will need one part lemon juice and three parts water.
- Fill the spray bottle with water
- Add lemon juice to this
- Shake well to mix them
- Now spray this lemon juice solution in the nests of the flying ants in your house.
Make Peppermint Spray to Kill Flying Ants
Peppermint can be good for our health but they are poisonous for ants. A spray made with peppermint oil will kill the flying ants by suffocating them.
- Peppermint oil- few drops
- Dish wash liquid (optional)- 1 part
- Water- 3 parts (if using dish-wash liquid)
- Spray bottle
- Fill the bottle with the water.
- Add the drops of peppermint oil and shake well.
- To make this spray more effective, you may also add dish wash liquid. If using it, add 1 part of it with 3 parts of water along with few drops of peppermint oil.
- Now spray this solution into the nest of flying ants to get rid of them.
Make Borax Spray to Get Rid of Flying Ants
Borax has been used for ants traditionally, to make a trap for them by mixing it with sugar. Instead of a trap, you can also make a borax spray for flying ants. Be cautious when using it because borax can be harmful for humans and pets. Keep your kids away when using this spray.
- Borax- 1-2 tbsp
- Warm water- 1-2 cups
- Spray bottle
- Fill your spray bottle with warm water.
- Add borax to this and keep shaking it, till you see the powder getting fully dissolved in the water.
- Label the bottle as ‘Borax Solution- Don’t Touch’. Its important to do so.
- Spray this solution into the nest of the flying ants.
Aspartame Homemade Pesticide for Getting Rid of Flying Ants
This is yet another spray made with aspartame that is present in artificial sweeteners. It is toxic for ants. If you are able to attract even one flying ant to the sweet mixture made with aspartame, you would be able to kill all of them in the nest as this one ant will carry the sweet pesticide to the nest and kill them all, unknowingly.
- Artificial sweetener- 1-2 tsp
- Apple juice- enough to make paste
- Add enough apple juice to the artificial sweetener to make a paste.
- Now leave this bait near the ants’ nest or somewhere else where you see the flying ants often.
- Once the ants get attracted to this bait, you may rest assure that all of the flying ants will die.
Use Mint to Repel Flying Ants
If your house is not actually infested with harmful carpenter or pharaoh flying ants and only few ants are there trying to build a nest, you may not like to kill them. You would just like these ants to go away. One of the best ways to do so is to use mint leaves. Ants do not like these leaves and its a great natural repellant for ants.
- Mint tea bag or Mint leaves (dry or fresh)
- If using tea bag, dip it in the water and then place the damp tea bag somewhere close to the nest of the flying ants.
- If using dry mint leaves, crush them to get a powder. Sprinkle this powder into the nest or around it.
- If using fresh mint leaves, just crush them a little and leave them close to the nest of flying ants.
- When the ants go away from that place, seal the crack or hole from where these flying ants were entering into your house.
Once you get rid of flying ants by using one or more remedies given above, it becomes imperative to seal any cracks or other entrance paths used by flying ants to enter your home. Hope you get rid of flying ants in your house soon!