Winged ants usually appear suddenly and in large numbers. Although they are harmless, they can become such a nuisance that you want to fight them.
To the point
- flying ants are not dangerous
- flying ants do not exist as a separate species
- flying ants appear so that the ant colony can multiply
- different methods and home remedies are suitable for fighting them
The most important tip of all
If winged ants appear, do not panic. Such an infestation looks far worse than it is. It is not necessary to apply poison, nor to call a pest controller. There are no ants in our climate that can be dangerous in any way. Ants in the house also do not harm the masonry or the roof, they do not eat wood.
Where flying ants come from
There is no distinct species of flying ants, even though the sheer numbers in which they can appear might suggest otherwise. Instead, flying ants are male and female specimens of perfectly normal garden ants that are on their nuptial flight. Usually they are additionally accompanied and cared for by some ants without wings. After the wedding, the females establish a new state, while the males die.
Where flying ants can appear
Winged ants can appear wherever there are unwinged ants. Thus, they are present in the garden, forest and field, as well as, if conditions are favorable for the insects, in the house. Usually, a swarm of flying ants appears in certain weather conditions. For example, when the weather is warm and humid or a thunderstorm is imminent. If many ants are busy on the outside wall of the house and individual flying ants are visible, it is imperative to take a close look inside as well.
Home remedies to fight the insects
For nature, it is better to do without poison and so-called bait boxes. With this method, entire colonies of ants are killed. Instead, you can try a home remedy. As for flying ants, they disappear all by themselves after a short time, as soon as the nuptial flight is completed, so you do not need to fight them. At most, there are many dead ants, which are simply swept up and removed.
Interrupting the ant trail
This method is the most important one. Through the ant trails, the ant colony is supplied with food. Wherever possible, a recognizable ant trail should be interrupted by suitable measures. Suitable for this are, for example, chalk lines, but also other materials that ants either do not like or cannot overcome. If it is recognizable where the ant trail leads to, the destination can also be removed so that it ends in nothing. To do this, do not just put food in another open place. It does not take long for the ants to find their destination again.
Note: Always remove foraging ants that seem to be wandering aimlessly before they can even form a road.
Ants are very sensitive to odors and quickly lose their orientation when exposed to appropriate scents. Therefore, scents such as lavender directly on or along an ant trail will help against the insects. Lavender plants in the garden discourage ants from establishing a new nest nearby. Lavender oil in a fragrance lamp ensures that you are not disturbed by flying ants even in the house. It can also be drizzled on the ant trail or nest.
As much as ants like sweet foods, they can’t stand acidic foods, such as lemon juice or vinegar. This can be used to wipe ant trails on objects and surfaces. Clean kitchen countertops with vinegar cleaner.
Less advisable methods
If you want to drive ants away but not really harm them, stay away from boiling water, using baking soda, deer horn salt, baking powder, or special poisons. Poisons in particular can also be dangerous to other creatures, even to your own home remedies. Birds, for example, are sensitive to insect sprays. Ant baits could be eaten by dogs or cats. Poisons should not be used near food, i.e. in the kitchen, anyway.
Note: Baking soda seems harmless, however, it provides an agonizing death to insects precisely because of its propulsive power.
Important method in the garden
In a natural garden, ants are always present and they do not harm in small numbers. The situation is different when they start to care for aphids and protect them against predators.
In such cases, it is important to first get rid of the aphids themselves. This can be done by encouraging beneficial insects on the one hand, and by using non-toxic methods such as spraying with water or plant soaks on the other. Some plant dips even help against ants themselves, such as wormwood.
Ants in the lawn
Winged ants can also appear on grassy areas, where they quickly climb the blades of grass and then fly off. If an ant colony is present in the lawn, the most sensible thing to do is to dig it out, along with the layer of soil underneath, and move it to another spot in the garden. However, the ants may simply remain in place if the green area is not used for sitting. Although the sudden appearance of the winged insects can be startling, they do not harm the lawn and are soon gone.
Preventing an ant infestation is not that easy, in fact, it is almost impossible in the garden. Ant colonies can settle anywhere and in suitable conditions they also reproduce. Moreover, it is not possible to prevent ant swarms from other gardens.
It is easier to avoid ants in the house. It is helpful to use insect screens for windows and doors. If many ants are spotted outside, windows and doors can also be kept completely closed for some time. Flying ants are usually gone as quickly as they came. preventing them does not prevent their appearance, but ensures that they can not enter the house.
Other preventive measures against a basic infestation of ants:
- Reduce aphids in the garden as much as possible
- do not leave food, especially sweet food, open in the house
- close possible hiding places
- Damp wipe kitchen surfaces frequently
- Seal pet food securely
- Clean food bowls regularly
- do not leave full bowls outside for a long time
Frequently asked questions
When do winged ants appear and how many are there?
Most ants begin their swarming flights in mid-May. However, they can continue well into the summer. Although it may seem that ants appear in large numbers, it is quite rare for them to appear in the hundreds or even thousands.
Are ants dangerous?
Ants are not poisonous to humans or animals and are harmless as long as they are not touched. Only the formic acid that attacked ants spray causes burning pain.
Is it possible to keep the insects out of the house permanently?
Especially in old buildings, this is virtually impossible, because they use every crevice, no matter how small, to penetrate. Even poison or repellents do not help in the long run. Once an ant colony has disappeared, it is often replaced by another.
Are ants protected?
Except for the forest ant, ants are not particularly protected. In principle, wild animals, which include ants, may not be killed or taken from the wild without further ado. Ants fulfill many important functions in nature. Killing them is also unnecessary and senseless.
Do ants harm the garden?
Ants themselves do not harm in the garden. On the contrary, for example, they catch caterpillars of various species of butterflies. However, ants in conjunction with aphids are very annoying and can cause indirect damage.