Flying ants only appear once a year, usually in the spring after a rain and warm temperatures. Most species of ants will produce flyers. They are both male and female and are the reproductives of the species. Their sole purpose is to mate and perpetuate the world of ants. The 1 day the flyers appear is known as “Flying Ants Day.” The fling ants swarm from the ground and fly for breeding purposes, when conditions occur. The swarms can be thousands and thousands of ants, and they are very visible as they fly in a mob.
The flying ants often mate with ants from different colonies. A male ant will only mate with one female, but the female may mate with a number of ants. After mating, the males lose their wings and a short time after they die. The female flyers find the right landing area and shortly after lose their wings or sometimes, they break off their own wings. The feminine flying ants dig into soft soil and start laying eggs to establish another ant colony. That female becomes the queen and begins the task of building a colony. Sometimes, two female ants will establish a colony together, but within the year, just 1 queen will remain.
The ant colony needs a couple of years to grow and sprout reproductive flying insects. The colony needs to generate several thousand workers before breeding flying ants. The workers look after the colony. They supply food, take care of the young and warn the colony of trouble brewing. The employees borough the way for the remainder of the colony and build intricate tunnels for the ants to travel. They also protect the queen and the rest of the colony in case something attempts to intrude into their colony. If their holes into the surface are covered over, they will re-establish the holes immediately.
Birds, other insects such as spiders and toads and frogs gobble up the little critters. Large swarms offer protection from the predators, but if the flyers are not paying attention to their surroundings, they might find themselves that day’s entree.
Flying ants will sometimes infest a structure. They can be seen in walls and will emerge through cracks and crevices. Flying ants are not much of a problem as they will disappear, but their presence could be a sign of a larger problem.
Stewart Wrighter recently reviewed cost effective methods of managing flying ants and hunted for organic flying ant treatments to include in his report. He discovered easily available household remedies to deal with the pest control issue.