Winged ants. Ants with wings. Flying ants. Whatever you want to call them, the time of year has arrived. Flying ants are coming to a town near you. You have been warned! Although maybe not today seeing as its raining…
The other day I spotted the first of the flying ants, lining the pavement on the way to get lunch. Then when I got home I decided to make the most of the last ray of sunshine and sit out in the garden. Looking down at my incredibly dry lawn I noticed a great deal of movement. You remember that scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom when they find the secret passage in that palace, they have to walk along a veritable carpet of bugs….ok, so my lawn was not quite so bad….but you get my point – they were everywhere! (Great, not only do I have lots of non winged ants in my garden, now i have this lot as well – what luck!)
Honestly this flying ant phenomenon is not a major thing to worry about, except of course if you happen to end up in the centre of a major swarm….I imagine that could be somewhat distressing.
The flying ants you may happen to see are the sexually active male and female black garden ants performing, what is termed, their “nuptial flight” (yes, very public for such a private affair!) before they mate. They are apparently waiting for the perfect weather conditions, which sets them off flying. Now, I am not exactly sure what that is (it has been very warm and humid recently), but having spotted loads of them yesterday still just crawling along the ground (no Superman antics just yet!), I reckon we are pretty close to witnessing these big swarms, which can last all day.
One thing we do need to be aware of is that black garden ants can bite people. So, you should take extra care to avoid flying ants, especially if you know you have allergic reaction to bites. I suppose if you do see them heading in your direction, best to get indoors and shut all the windows and doors.
I remember loads of reports on the radio around this time last year about people seeing these mega swarms of flying ants – I did not see any – but having so many in my garden, I may well be treated to the spectacle this year. It could be worse… at least we are not facing a swarm of locusts. Apparently there was a huge swarm of locusts in Africa in 2004, which cost $400m just to get rid of the pest, and this did not included money lost to destroyed crops!
Anyway, if you see any of these flying ants, I would be interested to hear where you were and what happened, I will of course update you on the flying ants situation in my own garden.
Many people can get flying ants confused with termites, they look very similar.
Interested to read what you had to say about flying ants, as on 17th August 2010 in Cleggan, Connemara, W. Ireland we were absolutely inundated with flying ants. I happened to be hanging out washing on the clothes line – the washing was covered with these ants which then proceeded to swarm around me as well – they were everwhere and got in under my clothes – especially my bra and I was literally covered in stings, over my whole body – especially my chest. The discomfort, heat and itching from these lasted for more than a week – I spoke to the pharmacist in Clifden who reccommended an anti-histamine and mild steroid ointment – these made absoloutely no difference to the pain and itching – I found the only thing that helped was cool baths and applying a cold compress to the worst affected areas. The discomfort has now gone, but I still have some red marks remaining.Nobody else in my family was affected – I suppose I must be extremely allergic to these ant stings!
We saw this happen today in Austin, Texas…yesterday it rained. Today we have blue skies and lots of warm sun. They were rising from a giant ant hill and flying off in a southerly direction. Cool!
While driving home from church (June 22, 2011) at about 8:15 pm we observed many swarms of insects at the tallest of the tree tops strangely trailing from these trees going off to the West in undulating waves. I hurried home and captured several photos of this occurence. While doing so several landed on and around me. Armed with my pictures and computer I found out with a little research I found that they are “flying ants”; and, then found your article. So here in Bastrop County near Elgin, Texas, we’re having a lot of swarms!!! Very interesting to observe. I have pictures if you’re interested.
Thanks for sharing the information with us! I would love to see the pictures. Please send them in and I’ll post them on the blog to share with the deBugged community.
Wow, this morning, arrived at hhe office just in time to find my first swarm of flying ants they have little brown dots on the outer edges of their wings.
truely love the light in no time they were every where in hte office building where evere a light came on.
mister bug man is on his way, there must be hundreds of thousands, hope its to cold for them in our computer control room.
My name is Lynette and I live in Phoenix Arizona about a month ago I was setting up my granddaughter swimming pool when a whole bunch of flying ants bothering you I got stung in the back and boy get hurt my granddaughter got bit twice you find them in her clothes in her hair everywhere
It was in my house I was just about to get into bed when I saw it. A winged ant. I resulted in killing it then I looked it up I didn’t know if it was dangerous or not either.
Thank you for visiting our blog. We could arrange a free house survey to check if your property has an ant infestation. If you would like to take it please let us know your details to arrange a survey. https://www.rentokil.ie/contact-us/
Winged ants, ants are in everywhere about our house!
What do I do?
My wife is going bonkers!!!
Thank you for visiting our blog. To avoid a larger infestation, we could offer you a free house survey. Our local technician will check around and give you some best practice advice on ant prevention and treatment. If you’d like to take it, please contact us asap to arrange a house survey. https://www.rentokil.ie/contact-us/