Pest Of The Week – Flying Ants

Ants are one of the most common pests in and around homes; they are social insects and are divided up into three types – workers, males, and queens.

Workers are sterile, wingless females which range in size from 1/20 inch long to about 1/2 inch long. Like all insects, ants have three distinctive body parts: head, thorax, and abdomen. All ants have a pair of elbowed (bent) antennae on the head and a constricted area between the thorax and abdomen called the petiole.

The reproductive members of the colony are the males and queens. Males are generally the same size or larger than the workers, are winged, have a small head with proportionally large eyes. They are produced in older, large colonies and their sole purpose is to mate with the new queens; they die shortly afterwards. Queens are the largest members of the colony, often two to three times larger than workers. Queens possess wings but break them off after mating and never fly again. They have very large abdomens and can live for a number of years.

Males and queens will swarm from their nest to mate. After mating, the female seeks a proper nesting site and begins a new colony.

Flying ants appear in such large numbers to give them protection from predators – the larger the swarm, the more predators are kept away. Another reason for their large numbers is to increase the chance of reproduction – the ants won’t have far to look for a mate.

These swarms of flying ants may be annoying, but they are harmless and nothing can be done about them. Anyone concerned by this may take comfort in the knowledge that the problem is only for a short time – usually over within 2-3 hours.

If you suspect you have a flying ant infestation in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee or Perth, call GRAHAM pest control today and we could help.