Have you ever wondered about a swarm of flying ants and why they have wings? Yes, some ants do have wings. Watching ants having wings appears to be a sci-fi movie that you might think is a cause of concern. The answer is simple, and it is not as scary as you may have thought.
Ants with wings are a common occurrence, and some distinguished members of nearly all ant species develop wings and have the ability to fly. The cardinal reason is that winged ants are swarming ants with the ultimate goal of breeding and reproduction. Therefore, since only the drone (male ant) and the queen (female ant) hold the ability to mate, these members are recognized as the reproductive ants of the colony. They breed the next generation of the colony and are often found with a pair of wings. Also, these Flying ants do tend to bite and sting humans but often turn out to be harmless.
The ability to possess wings also depends on the swarming nature of the species. Almost all species of ants hold a swarm. A swarm is commonly referred to as a ‘nuptial flight’ or ‘mate flight’ as thousands of flying ants depart from the colony during early to mid-spring with the sole intention of mating.
It is also important to know that these swarmers are only capable of flying during the breeding season. A species that doesn’t hold a swarmed approach of breeding does not own any winged members. Talking about wings, many ants have attained a negative position on the board as they are constantly associated with termites.
Flying ants vs. termites
Flying Ants and Termites belong to two different phyla and it is vital to understand the difference between the two in order to protect your home. Recognizing the pest will give you a better chance of saving your precious possessions, as what treatment works for an ant might be inutile on a termite.
Many times homeowners identify flying ants or swarmers as termites. Needless to say, regardless of the species your home has for sure been invaded by some troublesome guests and needs your attention immediately. The key to distinguishing the two is to observe their features critically. A termite possesses straight antennae and equal-length wings with a straight torso. Flying ants contrastingly have bent antennae and unequal wings with a pinched torso.
Termites are often confused with Carpenter Ants. Although the two are equally captivated by wooden structures, carpenter ants are relatively less dangerous, but that doesn’t mean one should tolerate them. Carpenter ants tunnel through wooden structures in order to mate and build colonies. Termites feast on wood for survival and completely destroy the structure.
If you are in doubt and notice a swarm of flying insects in a single location on your property, immediately call a pest control professional to determine the issue. The experts can inspect the property and provide recommendations to prevent an ant infestation.