big ant with wings

Big Ant with Wings: Identify & Control Tips

Welcome to our informative guide on big ants with wings, also known as flying ants or winged ants. If you’ve spotted these insects around your home or in your garden, it’s essential to understand their behavior, characteristics, and how to control them. In this section, we will focus on identifying these ants and providing effective tips for controlling their presence.

Key Takeaways

  • Brown or black in color, carpenter ants are one of the largest ant species in the U.S. and can cause significant damage to wood structures.
  • Worker ants are wingless, while winged ants have two sets of wings, with the front set being longer.
  • Carpenter ants do not eat wood, but they chew it to create galleries and tunnels for nesting.
  • The most effective way to control carpenter ants is to eliminate wet and damaged wood and repair conditions causing the damage.
  • Prevent future infestations by avoiding direct contact between the structure and soil, trimming trees and shrubs away from the home, and storing firewood away from the house.

Identifying Flying Ants: Appearance and Behavior

Flying ants are reproductive ants that have reached sexual maturity. They are larger in size compared to typical worker ants and have wings. The coloration of flying ants can vary, but they are typically brown, black, or reddish in color. They have two pairs of brown-tinted wings of unequal length.

During the nuptial flight, which usually occurs in the summer months, flying ants can be seen as males and females fly out of their colonies to find mates and establish new colonies. Observing the appearance, coloration, and behavior of flying ants can help in identifying the species and determining the best approach for pest control.

Carpenter ants are known to have flying ants, which can be identified by their pinched waist, elbowed antennae, and wing characteristics. Differentiating flying ants from termites can be done by examining body shape, antennae shape, and wing length and appearance.

Flying ants do not typically bite unless threatened, and some species may occasionally sting. Their presence in the garden can indicate an established ant colony nearby, providing ecological benefits such as soil aeration and natural pest control.

Table 2: Comparison of Flying Ants and Termites

Flying AntsTermites
Body ShapeSegmented body with distinct waistStraight-sided, broader body
AntennaeElbowed antennaeStraight antennae
WingsTwo pairs of brown-tinted wings of unequal lengthTwo pairs of wings of equal length
BehaviorDo not typically bite unless threatened; some species may stingDo not bite; may release defensive chemicals

Table 2: Comparison of Flying Ants and Termites. Source: Own compilation.

winged ant species

“Flying ants are reproductive ants that have reached sexual maturity. Observing their appearance, coloration, and behavior can help identify the species and determine the best approach for pest control.”

Controlling Flying Ants: Prevention and Treatment

Flying ants can be a nuisance when they enter your home through open doors and windows. To prevent their intrusion, it’s essential to take proactive measures.

First, inspect your walls, windows, and roofs for any cracks, gaps, or openings that may serve as entry points for flying ants. Seal these areas to create a physical barrier against their infiltration.

Next, store your food securely in airtight containers, eliminating potential food sources that may attract flying ants. Additionally, keeping your home clean, especially the kitchen and dining areas, will remove food particles and discourage ant presence.

Did you know that natural deterrents can help repel flying ants? Place lemon or orange peels, cinnamon sticks, or cloves near entry points to discourage their access. Alternatively, essential oils like peppermint, clove, or citrus oils can also be effective in deterring ants.

If you want to get rid of flying ants for good, it’s crucial to attack the source of their colony. One effective method is to create bait traps using sweet substances mixed with borax. This mixture disrupts their reproduction cycle, ultimately leading to the demise of the entire colony.

In case you discover rotten or decaying wood in your home, it’s essential to remove and replace it. Rotten wood provides an ideal nesting place for carpenter ants, potentially leading to a more extensive infestation.

Sealing cracks and crevices in your home will also help prevent flying ants from entering. By closing off potential entry points, you can create an inhospitable environment for these pests.

While these preventive measures can be effective, extensive or difficult infestations may require professional pest control services. Don’t hesitate to seek expert help if you find it challenging to eliminate the flying ants on your own.

By following these preventive and treatment strategies, you can successfully control flying ants and create a more pest-free living environment.


Flying ants, also known as swarmers or alates, are reproductive ants that have reached sexual maturity. They mate during the nuptial flight, typically in the summer months, and establish new colonies. Different species of ants have different characteristics, and observing their appearance and behavior can help with identification.

Flying ants provide ecological benefits, such as soil aeration and natural pest control. However, they can also become a nuisance when they infest homes and buildings. To control flying ants in your home, it is important to take preventive measures such as sealing entry points, proper food storage, and maintaining good hygiene.

Attacking the source of the ant colony and removing decaying wood are effective methods of control. By replacing any wet and damaged wood and repairing conditions causing the damage, such as leaks, you can eliminate the nesting places for the ants. In some cases, professional pest control services may be necessary, especially for extensive infestations.

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