How to Get Rid of Flying Ants

Getting Rid of Flying Ants: Eliminate and Prevent Them

Avatar of author Ismael Girard
Ismael Girard
min read

Ever been invaded by flying ants? It's an all-too-common problem that can turn your home into a buzzing nightmare.

To get rid of flying ants, first confirm their presence by identifying signs like swarms or detached wings, then address the infestation by using natural repellents like peppermint oil or seek professional help if the situation leads to property damage. Ensure thorough cleaning and the use of ant baits to target the colony effectively and prevent future occurrences.

In the following sections, we'll cover everything you need to know, to help you getting rid of flying ants, and also preventing them.

Step 1: Understanding Flying Carpenter Ants

Expanding the knowledge about flying ants, understanding their nature and activities catapults your efforts to eliminate them.

Biological Role and Characteristics of Flying Ants

Flying carpenter ants, or winged ants, perform specific functions as members of the global ecosystem. Organizing like a well-oiled machine, an ant colony assigns roles based on the ant's size, species, and sex.

Winged ants have larger bodies, feature two sets of wings, and consist of both males and females - termed alates. These alates are future queens and males whose purpose revolves around propagating the species.

Seasonal Behavior and Environmental Impact of Winged Ants

In relation to their seasonal behavior, flying ants usually emerge during warmer months like spring and summer. This period witnesses a natural phenomenon called 'nuptial flight,' where male and female alates fly out from their nests simultaneously to mate and establish new colonies. Their swarms, though seldom detrimental to humans, can stir discomfort when they invade living spaces.

Dying males and unmated females constitute an abundant food source for birds, bats, and other insectivores, thereby impacting the environmental food chain. In essence, flying ants promote biodiversity by aiding seed dispersion and aerating soil. Nonetheless, their value in the ecosystem does not negate the inconvenience they pose in homes.

In upcoming segments, we'll investigate how to navigate this seasonal behavior, various techniques to discourage ants before and during a swarm, and leveraging their biological traits in creating effective homemade ant solution.

Step 2: Identify a Flying Ant Infestation

Identifying flying ants can get tricky. 2 telling signs could guide us:

  • Seeing a swarm of flying ants
  • Noticing individual ants consistently found indoors
  • Finding detached wings

Assess your property, pay attention to swarmers, which usually appear around summer or spring and survey your property searching for detached wings.

Flying Ants vs. Other Ants

Being able to distinguish between flying ants and other ants is paramount. Here's how we do it.

  • Wings: Flying ants, also recognized as alates, posses two pairs of wings. Notably, the front pair is larger than the back one, giving it a unique size disparity. Other ants carry no wings.
  • Waist Size: Flying ants exhibit a pinched waist, similar to a figure eight. The waist configuration of other ants is relatively uniform.
  • Antennae: The antennae of flying ants take a bent or "elbow" formation. In contrast, other species of ants flaunt straight antennae.

Accuracy in identifying flying ants is key to developing an effective strategy against them. Mistaking flying ants for termites—a common error—could lead to employing incorrect elimination methods, causing more harm than good.

Step 3: Eliminating Flying Ants

image of flying ants getting sprayed

Once an infestation is confirmed, focus on eradicating the flying ants.

  • Handheld vacuum cleaners provide a quick fix, suctioning up small, manageable swarms
  • Organic remedies—like peppermint oil sprays—offer a non-toxic, environment-friendly approach
  • Commercial aerosol insecticides serve as a formidable barrier when sprayed around potential entry points such as windows and doors.

Eliminate the Source of Flying Ants

Killing the ants without addressing the origin of the problem doesn't provide a lasting solution.

  • Look for nests inside and around your property. Nests typically resemble small mounds of soil or wood shavings
  • Use ant baits near food sources or water bodies—these lure the ants and eventually reach the queen, collapsing the entire colony
  • Ensure all food items are sealed and surfaces are swept clean to avoid attracting more ants

4- Know When to Seek Expert Help

At times, home remedies and DIY solutions might not suffice. If the problem becomes too large to handle or if the ants are carpenter ants (a species known to cause significant property damage), turn to professionals for comprehensive, remove ants effectively.

What Products to Use to Get Rid of Flying Ants?

Moving forward from the comprehensive approach needed to handle unwanted flying ant visitors, the search begins for the ideal products. Multiple avenues await exploration from nature-derived remedies to scientifically blended solutions, as well as the good-old home-devised methods.

Natural Remedies

Plentiful are the options when considering naturally sourced helpers against flying ants. Noteworthy for their efficacy and less impact on the environment, they stand as sustainable solutions.

Essential Oils and Vinegar Sprays

Proven through time, essential oils, especially peppermint oils, serve as a deterrent, confusing the ant's sense of direction. A blend of these strong odored oils with water creates nature's own pesticide. Vinegar sprays, another handy tool from mother nature's arsenal, complicate the trails for the swarm, throwing them off the path to food sources. Mixing equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle, and targeting high-traffic areas, sends the flying pests off course.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth, a naturally occurring silica-based substance, proves deleterious to the bodies of insects, including flying ants. Sprinkle this around likely entry and nesting areas as it works by piercing their exoskeleton and causing dehydration.

Chemical Solutions

While nature provides, science enhances. Chemical solutions often pack a punch and deliver a quick blow to the infestation. These include commercial pesticides, baits, and sprays promising robust, reliable results.

Commercial Pesticides

For more extensive invasions, commercial pesticides work effectively. These might include Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer or Terro Carpenter Ant & Termite Spray, known for their extensive reach and powerful potency. Remember though, caution is necessary with their usage, and always keep away from contact with food and water.

Baits and Sprays

Chemical baits and sprays, like the ones in our best ant killers article, serve as swift executioners. Set these around suspected ant trails and nests, and they do their deadly work, spreading throughout the colony to cause a timely end.

Home Remedies

Home is where the heart is, and often the best solutions. Traditional methods like using dish soap repellents and vacuuming techniques help stem the tide of the invasion, long enough for you to call in the professionals if need be.

Dish Soap Repellent

A homemade concoction of dish soap and water, placed in a spray bottle, wreaks havoc on the flying ant's wings, grounding them and making them easy targets to discard.

Vacuuming Techniques

The vacuum isn't just for dust anymore. It's an effective weapon against flying ants as well, sucking them straight out of flight mid-air. Once captured, seal and discard the vacuum bag immediately to prevent any possible come back.

In this battle against the uninvited winged guests, the best offense is a flexible one, packed with an array of tactical warfare weapons ranging from the naturally available to the scientifically derived. The choice of product truly depends on the size of the infestation, location of the nest, and personal preference. The aim remains clear - to reclaim your territory from the flying intruders and ensure they never return.

How to Prevent Future Flying Ant Infestations?

In paving the way for a flying ant-free future, two crucial practices demand our immediate attention: sealing out critical entry points and maintaining household hygiene through correct storage practices.

Sealing Entry Points

Flying ants, like many household pests, exploit small cracks and openings in the exterior of a property to gain entry. Detect and promptly address any structural flaws around doors, windows, and walls. Seal these entry points with a quality silicone-based caulk. For large gaps and cracks, consider using a foam sealant.

Rest assured, going an extra mile to replace worn weather-stripping around windows and loose mortar around the foundation aids significantly in blocking the access of winged invaders. Given that the primary goal of swarmers - the winged ants - is to establish new colonies, denying them entry contributes immensely to nip the potential invasion in the bud.

Maintaining Cleanliness and Proper Food Storage

Notably, cleanliness deters not just the ordinary ants but also their flying counterparts. Regular cleaning, especially of the kitchen and dining areas, eliminates potential food sources, further discouraging ants.

When it comes to storage, aim for containers with secure, airtight lids. Ants are experts at locating food and water sources, and they can easily infiltrate improperly sealed packaging. Store ripe fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator; they are overwhelmingly attractive to these flying pests. Rinely food crumbs, spills, and accumulated grease ought to be addressed as soon as possible.


In battling flying ants, both natural and commercial methods prove effective. Each carries unique benefits and drawbacks, hence, choice depends on personal preference, infestation size, and nest location.

Equip yourselves with essential tools in this combat, adopt a flexible approach, carry out consistent cleaning practices and most importantly, know when to seek professional help.

Lastly, remember, we're all part of a vast ecosystem and ants, flying or not, play a crucial role in it. Hence, it remains our duty to manage them in the most responsible, eco-friendly manner possible.

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Frequently asked questions

What are the primary roles of winged ants in their colonies?

Winged ants, also known as alates, are potential queens and males whose main function is to reproduce and establish new colonies. They emerge from the colony during nuptial flights, which typically occur in warmer months.

How can one differentiate flying ants from termites?

Flying ants have a distinctive thin waist that separates their thorax and abdomen, elbowed antennas, and two sets of wings with the front pair larger than the back. In contrast, termites have a broad waist, straight antennas, and uniformly sized wings.

What triggers the swarming of flying ants?

Swarming in flying ants is triggered by specific environmental conditions, typically warm and humid weather, signaling the start of their mating process known as the nuptial flight.