Menu Terminix. Power over pests.
866.319.6528
Request a call
Arrange a call
^ Close
Hide [-]
Home

Blog Posts for flying-ants

all posts

ant-control

bed-bug-control

flying-ants

mosquito-control

pest-control

roach-control

rodent-control

spider-control

terminix

termite-control

termite-inspection

termite-treatment

ant-control

bed-bug-control

flying-ants

  • Flying ants or termites | which one is invading my home?

    So you have a bunch of winged creatures in your home, but what species are they: flying ants or termites? Many homeowners are unable to determine whether they have a flying ant or termite infestation, because the two pests look so similar. The flying ant may be a nuisance pest, but termites present a much more serious threat to your home, so it’s important to know the difference. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to tell whether your home invaders are winged ants or termites.

    Distinguishing flying ants from termites

    The subterranean termites you see that have wings are called swarmer termites. These swarmers are adult termites who leave their colonies to form new ones, and they swarm in great numbers in the spring. They have pigmented bodies with broad waists and two pair of wings that are equal in size and shape. Their bodies are about ¼th inch in length and they quickly shed their wings after their brief flight. They also have straight, beaded antennae.


    Winged ants, on the other hand, have pinched waists and two pair of wings that differ in size and shape. The front pair is large, while the back pair is much smaller. Just like subterranean termites, winged ants shed their wings, so the presence of abandoned wings may not be a good indicator unless the wings are of different sizes. Winged ants have elbowed antennae, so that’s another way to differentiate between the two.

    Do you have flying ants or termites? 

    The best way to determine whether you need a solution for flying ants or termites is to call the professionals at Terminix® to schedule a FREE Termite Inspection. Terminix has more than 85 years of experience in identifying not only what type of pest is invading your home, but also exactly what treatment method will yield the best results. Best of all, their work is backed by the Ultimate Protection® Guarantee, the strongest guarantee in the business, which ensures that you’ll be 100% satisfied or your money back*.


    Don’t let flying ants or termites take over your home. Contact Terminix today by visiting Terminix.com or calling 1.866.766.7628.

  • What are flying ants?

    Did you know that ants have colonized almost every landmass on Earth? From the cold subarctic tundra to the dry deserts, ants are found in all regions of the world, although most originate from the tropics.  And one of the ways they form new colonies (and reproduce) is with flying ants. 

    Why do they have wings?

    What are flying ants? Flying ants are actually regular ants with wings, although not every ant has wings, only the queen and male ants. The worker ants are all wingless and non-reproducing females. The queen ants are winged until after they mate, and then they shed their wings. Males are also winged until they mate, but then they die.

    Flying ants or termites?

    Flying ants are often confused with termites. However, there are some pronounced differences between the two insects. Winged ants have pinched waists and two pair of wings that differ in size and shape. Winged termites have pigmented bodies with broad waists and two pair of wings that are equal in size and shape. If the insect you’re looking at has hind wings that are much smaller than the front wings, you have ants. Another way to distinguish between winged ants and winged termites is to examine the antennae. Winged ants have elbowed antennae, while a termite’s antennae are straight and beaded.

    Flying ant species

    Determining the species of flying ant is very difficult, even for trained entomologists. It’s important to call in a pest control professional, because different pest ant species may require different types of treatment to get them out of your home.

    Flying ants swarm

    Winged ants congregating in large numbers are called a “swarm.” These ants swarm to find mates and to start new colonies, and if you see a large presence of flying ants in your home, there is likely to be an infestation inside or underneath your home. Flying ants are in search of a new home, so it’s important to take proactive measures to make sure that the home they decide on is not already yours.

    Prevention is the best solution

    Ants eat the same food that people do, so good sanitation measures are an important part of helping to keep ants at bay. Crumbs, food scraps, dog food and open food containers can all attract foraging ants; keeping these things put away can decrease your risk of infestation.


    Terminix® offers a FREE Pest Evaluation of your home should you suspect you are facing a flying ant infestation. Their Pest Control Plan provides guaranteed protection against 27 of the worst kinds of pests, including ants. Certain pest solutions, including fire ants, carpenter ants and other wood-eating ants, are available in select areas only and may require an additional inspection.


    To determine if the ant solution you need is included in the Pest Control Plan and covered by the Ultimate Protection® Guarantee—the strongest guarantee in the business—visit Terminix.com or call 1.866.766.7628 today.

  • What is a flying ants swarm?

    Flying ants swarm with a clear mission in mind: to find a mate, reproduce and establish a new colony. Swarming is no random act; it’s a carefully timed process that occurs at certain times of the year depending on the species and is generally triggered by environmental conditions. To truly understand this phenomenon of nature, you must first understand that an ant colony is a highly developed social organization with various castes.


    Worker ants are always females and they make up the largest caste; it’s their job to forage and find food that will sustain the colony. When you see ants in the pantry, on the kitchen countertops or foraging for food outdoors, you’re most likely looking at worker ants. The reproductive caste consists of both males and females. Pre-reproductives—those ants that have yet to mate—usually possess wings prior to leaving the colony. They wait for up to several months for nature to signal that it’s time to leave the nest in search of a new mate. Once they leave the nest they’re known as swarmers.


    Depending on the species, swarming flying ants are seen in spring or early summer, or between mid-summer and early fall.  Swarming happens when certain environmental conditions are just right, such as elevated humidity, reduction in wind speed, or when appropriate day length is reached. Several colonies in a given area may swarm at the same time; by using identical environmental cues to trigger swarming, ant colonies increase the chance that their reproductives will encounter swarmers from other colonies of the same species. Once mating takes place, the male ants die and the mated queen sheds her wings and looks for a place to start her own nest.

    How to identify a flying ants swarm and how to prevent them

    A flying ants swarm is often confused with a termite swarm.  Here is how to tell the difference:

    • Flying ants have three distinct body divisions (head, thorax, abdomen) while termites appear to have the head, thorax and abdomen fused into one elongate shape
    • Flying ants have two sets of wings, the hind wings being smaller and joined to the front wings during flight while flying termites have two pairs of wings of equal length, shape and size
    • Ants have antennae with “elbows,” while termite antennae are shorter and straight

    Swarming flying ants are a reliable indicator of an existing nest in your home if you find numerous flying ants indoors. An isolated event of swarming flying ants is of less concern than a constant stream of “worker” ants, which are wingless female ants that do not reproduce. Workers indicate an active nest that may warrant treatment.

    Terminix® experts can help you

    If you see a flying ants swarm, it’s time to take action. The trained professionals at Terminix® know that different species of ants require specific control methods and treatment strategies from baits to residual contact products. They can determine what type of ant control solution you need.


    The Terminix Pest Control Plan provides guaranteed protection against 27 of the worst kinds of pests, including many species of ants. This plan includes:

    1. An initial service inside your home gets to the pests—the ones you see and the ones you don’t.
    2. Treating the exterior of the home to help prevent new home invasions.
    3. Regular services intercept pests outdoors around your home to help keep pests from invading inside.

    Certain pest solutions, including fire ants, carpenter ants and Pharaoh ants, are available in select areas only and may require an additional inspection. 


    To determine if the ants solution you need is included in the Pest Control Plan and covered by the Ultimate Protection® Guarantee—the strongest guarantee in the business—visit Terminix.com or call 1.866.766.7628 today.

  • Do I have flying carpenter ants?

    If you’ve seen large winged ants more than ½ inch long in your home, there’s a good chance that they may be flying carpenter ants. Carpenter ants are named such because they make their nests in wood. They will excavate decayed or damaged wood or even structurally sound wood in homes. Carpenter ant control can often be aggravating and many experts consider them on of the more difficult types of ants to treat. So, the first step in figuring out if you actually have these pests in your home is to learn exactly what they are, how to identify them and what attracts them.

    What are flying carpenter ants?

    Flying carpenter ants are the winged queens and kings produced by a carpenter ant colony that fly out to start new colonies. Sometimes outdoors, these flying ants come together in a swarm so that male and queen carpenter ants from different colonies can find mates. Males die once they've mated; queens shed their wings and search for a place to set up their new home.

    How to identify flying carpenter ants

    Flying carpenter ants from most species can dwarf those of other types of ants such as fire and pavement ants. They can be black, red and black, yellow-brown or black and brown in color. Queens are large and stocky. Males are slender with long legs and small heads. Flying carpenter ants are often mistaken for flying termites, but they differ from flying termites in the following ways:

    • Flying carpenter ants are larger than flying termites
    • Flying carpenter ants have three distinct body divisions (head, thorax, abdomen), while flying termites appear to have the head, thorax, and abdomen fused into one elongated shape
    • Flying carpenter ants have two pairs of wings, the hind pair smaller and joined to the front pair, especially in flight while flying termites have two pairs of wings equal in size and length
    • Carpenter ants have antennae with “elbows,” while termites have shorter, straight antennae

    What attracts carpenter ants?

    Carpenter ants prefer to nest in moist, rotting wood of decaying logs and trees, but worker ants from outdoor colonies may forage into homes looking for food, moisture, or nesting sites for satellite colonies. They do not eat wood, but instead chew galleries in the wood for nesting galleries. These ants eat sweets and proteins, so spilled food and poorly stored food (including pet food) attracts them. Since carpenter ants are often active at night, you may not see them unless you are specifically looking for them.

    How do carpenter ants get in?

    • Carpenter ants use cracks in foundations for access to wood siding, so seal such crevices
    • They can also enter your home via the entry and exit points for plumbing and electrical conduits so be sure to plug these as well
    • Tree branches that contact your home offer carpenter ants a “highway” for potential invasion
    • Firewood or lumber stacked against your home is an invitation to carpenter ants

    Why is professional help necessary to control carpenter ants?

    Carpenter ant nests are difficult to find, but the professionals at Terminix® have the experience to locate carpenter ant colonies and their satellite nests to help protect against re-infestation. An initial Pest Evaluation can determine whether you are facing an infestation of carpenter ants or if you need a solution for one of the 27 pests covered by the Terminix Pest Control Plan. Solutions for carpenter ants are available in select areas only and may require an additional inspection.   


    To determine if the solution you need is included in the Pest Control Plan and covered by the Ultimate Protection® Guarantee—the strongest guarantee in the business—visit Terminix.com or call 1.866.766.7628 today to get a FREE Pest Evaluation.

  • Largest flying ant fossil found

    A giant flying ant fossil discovered in Wyoming is the size of a hummingbird, according to scientists. The giant insect, which appears to be almost 50 million years old, may have crossed an Arctic land bridge between Europe and North America. This is the first full-body specimen of a flying ant to be found in the United States, although loose giant ant wings have been discovered previously.

    Traveling giant flying ant

    Giant flying ant fossils similar to this species have been discovered in Germany, yet it remains a mystery how the ants ended up on both sides of the Atlantic. Ants are resilient pests, and some have been known to create rafts out of their own bodies to survive floods. However, modern ants of this size need a warm climate to survive, as most current species live in tropical areas found in South America, Southeast Asia and Australia. 


    Ancient global warming

    Scientists have found giant ant fossils in European locations that were tropical between 34 million and 56 million years ago. At that time, continents were closer together, and scientists say it was possible to walk across dry land from Vancouver to London. However, at the time, travelers still had to transverse the Arctic, and although it was warmer back then than it is today, it was still too chilly for these giant flying ants to survive. What scientists believe is that there were brief periods when temperatures in the Arctic reached levels that allowed the flying ant to survive its trek across the land. Scientists plan to compare the North American species with the European species to determine the origin of the insects.

    Similar to giant ant found in Africa

    The only modern ant whose queen is capable of reaching the size of the flying ant fossil found in Wyoming is the Dorylus wilverthi species, which resembles a large flying carpenter ant. Because the current species lives only in tropical weather, scientists believe that the fossil, which has been named Titanomyrma lubei, also thrived in tropical heat—a theory that seems to match scientific knowledge that areas of Wyoming and Germany had tropical climates at one point in history.


    Although giant flying ants are not native to the United States, other ants, such as flying red ants and flying carpenter ants, may indicate a current pest problems to homeowners. If you are dealing with a flying ant infestation, contact Terminix® today for a FREE Pest Evaluation by visiting them at Terminix.com or calling 1.866.766.7628.

  • Flying ants | tips and tricks to keep them away from my home

    Ants in their wingless form are easily recognizable, but flying ants aren’t always as easily identifiable. Once you’ve confirmed that you’re dealing with flying ants, you can try these tips and tricks to prevent them from entering your home.

    Flying ants vs. termites

    Flying ants are the winged queens and kings that fly out of ant colonies to mate and start new colonies, and they are often confused with winged, swarming termites. Although flying ants and termites can swarm around the same time of year, there are ways to tell the difference between the two. Winged ants have pinched waists and two pair of wings that differ in size and shape. Winged termites have pigmented bodies with broad waists and two pair of wings that are equal in size and shape. If the insect you’re looking at has hind wings that are much smaller than the front wings, you have ants. Another way to distinguish between winged ants and winged termites is to examine the antennae. Winged ants have elbowed antennae, while a termite’s antennae are straight and beaded. 

    Flying ant damage

    Flying ants do not cause any damage. However, carpenter ants can damage wooden structures in your home as they may chew galleries into damp wood to form a nest.  

    Flying ant prevention

    Swarms of flying ants are present in or around a home because an ant colony is present. The best way to prevent flying ants is to be aware when ants are present, then take steps to control them. When flying ants occur indoors, calling a pest professional for help is a good first option. The winged forms of ants are difficult to identify, even for trained entomologists. A couple of types of ants, however, are easier to identify including those of carpenter ants, pavement ants and citronella ants.

    Solutions for controlling flying ants

    Most species of ants produce winged reproductive ants that fly out in swarms, and it is often impossible to successfully treat for them unless you address the entire colony. Different pest ant species may require different control strategies, so the best option is to contact a professional pest control company to arrange for ongoing pest control services.


    Terminix® offers a FREE Pest Evaluation of your home should you suspect you are facing a flying ant infestation. Their Pest Control Plan provides guaranteed protection against 27 of the worst kinds of pests, including ants. Certain pest solutions, including fire ants, carpenter ants and other wood-eating ants, are available in select areas only and may require an additional inspection.


    The Terminix Pest Control Plan is backed by the Ultimate Protection® Guarantee—the strongest guarantee in the business. For more information on flying ants, contact Terminix at 1.866.766.7628 or visit them online at Terminix.com.

mosquito-control

pest-control

roach-control

rodent-control

spider-control

terminix

termite-control

termite-inspection

termite-treatment

  • flying ant

    Flying ants | tips and tricks to keep them away from my home

    on Thursday, June 20, 2013 by Terminix

    Ants in their wingless form are easily recognizable, but flying ants aren’t always as easily identifiable. Once you’ve confirmed that you’re dealing with flying ants, you can try these tips and tricks to prevent them from entering your home. Read more

AN IRONCLAD GUARANTEE TO RID YOUR HOME OF TERMITES AND PESTS.

The Terminix Ultimate Protection® Guarantee is the strongest in the business. We’re committed to defending your home against pests and termites. Because it’s your house, not theirs. If you’re not 100% satisfied, we’ll give you your money back.

Learn more

Want more information?

Fill in this form and a Terminix professional will call you back.

Tell us what problem you're having:
Termites
Pests
Bed Bugs
Other
Submit
I hereby consent to receive autodialed and/or pre-recorded telemarketing calls from or on behalf of Terminix at the telephone number provided above. I understand that consent is not a condition of purchase.