Sunday, July 13, 2008

How to Get Rid of Flying Ants

You are fed up with ants. I know it and you know it. It is time to send those bastards packing and effectively eradicate them from your yard. You are not alone my friend, for these insects have annoyed me ever since middle school when I was once dared to stick my hand in a pile of swarming ants for 10 seconds. I have an intense hatred for these vile beasts, so let me join you in your quest to the end of flying ants.

Before we move on to the good stuff about killing ants, let us first learn a little bit of information. Ants are highly social and are the most successful groups of insects. They feed on pretty much every food and love sweets. There are five very common ants: carpenter ants, crazy ants, odorous house ants, Pharaoh ants, and the thief ant. Each of these ants, in an attempt to survive, send out flying ants that will fly as far as possible to form a new colony of ants. This is their proven formula: mate, send the females out to fly, start a new colony and repeat. It has worked so far, but will it work again?

Knowing this, if you want to get ants out of your property, then you want to get rid of these flying ants. So, what are the steps that you will need to take when getting rid of flying ants? First, you are going to have to make sure that you know which type of ant that you are dealing with. I have listed the five most common ants, and google is can further assist your questions. Maybe in the future I will discuss these ants in further detail, but for now I won’t. Just know that it is important because some may be controlled with baits and others could require injections of insecticide.

After you have identified the ants, then you want to try and locate the nest. If you suspect that the ants are located in your house structure, then either consult a professional or try to find them yourself. Looks along the edges of carpet and baseboards, examine cracks, wires and poles. Be sure to also check around your house and anywhere where wood would be. Once you have located the ants, applying pesticide will usually suffice.

If you suspect that pesticides are not working, then you should consider baiting. For flying ants, when you see them make sure to spray them with a pesticide. However, for colonies you could also try a bait system. This will kill all new births from the colony while the rest of the adults will eventually die naturally. Another method that you could use is barrier treatment which will prevent entry into your property again.

Hopefully now you can get rid of another couple thousand ants and do your part in the fight against global infestation. Just remember that getting rid of flying ants will prevent future colonization. So times that times the number of thousand ants that inhabit each colony and your numbers could be impressive!

Identifying Flying Ants

I know how it is to have some sort of insect in your yard that you are unsure of. I also know what it is like to treat the wrong bug with the wrong treatment. So let’s get this one right. You have found what appears to be a flying ant or a termite in your yard and you are wanting to know which one that it is. Understandable, so you must be wondering which insect that it is. Don’t worry, I will help you with identifying flying ants and termites.

First I am going to present you with an image to help accompany the description of the differences between each bug.

Ok, the first difference that you will notice is the antennae. On ants, the antennae is always bent. On termites, they are straight and do not have this sharp bend. The different segments on the ant’s antennae will help you to determine which species of ant it is so that you can find a probable treatment option. You may be able to tell this difference from far away, but it is probably highly doubtful. So let’s move on to a more overt way to determine how to identify flying ants.

The next difference that you will observe is the wings. On termites, the wings are generally longer than on flying ants. Also, termite wings are all the same length. On flying ants, the front wings are noticeably bigger than the back set of wings. You can generally tell if the insect is a termite because the wings are about twice as long as a flying ant’s wings. There is also another noticeable way to help you identify flying ants against termites.

By looking at the body of a termite and a flying ant, we can see a few differences. For one, the body of a flying ant has three parts – a thorax, a head and an abdomen. A termite will only have two distinct parts – a head and a body. Another difference that you will notice between termites and ants is that termites have a wider waist. Ants have narrower ones, as noted in the picture.

So there are the main differences between termites and ants. I hope that you do not have an infestation in your house, but if you suspect that you do, at least now you which pest that it is so that you can contact the appropriate professional. Now go brag about your cool skill for identifying flying ants!

Flying Ants vs Termites

When you are perusing through your yard on one of those long days of doing yard work, you may discover some winged insects that resemble ants. Are those termites or flying ants? This question is surely to go through your mind as you try to decide which course of action to take to effectively show them whose yard it is. Will it be the boot squash or the gas and fire trick? I’d recommend the boot squash, but what is the difference between termites and flying ants?

Termites, as well as many other species of ants, use their wings and swarm around property to spread their colonies. There are a few different ways to tell which type of insect that they are. The first method that you can do is to try and notice the body parts of the insect. If you are dealing with swarming termites, then you will only notice two body parts – a body and a head. However, ants will have three distinct parts – the thorax, abdomen and head. You do not even need to get really close to notice these overt differences.

If you see either of these in your yard away from your home, then there is no reason to be overly worried that you have an infestation in your house. However, if you see any of these winged insects around your house then it is imperative to tell the difference. For instance, if you notice flying ants in and around your house, then you are likely to have ant colonies inhabiting your house. These flying ants do not roam near houses intentionally, because when they leave their colonies, they are looking to spread out from their colony and form new ones. However, if they are in your house then that means that their colony is close by and you should try to find the source or seek a professional.

If you discover that you have termites, then you have a lot to worry about. Termite damage can cost, on average 40,000$ to repair termite damage. From there, you would want to find out what types of termites that you have and examine your termite treatment options. This way you will know how to deal with these termites and treat them. But that is another issue for another time.

Anyway, back to telling the difference between flying ants and termites is the antennae. Ants will have an elbow bend in their antennae while termites will have straight antennae. Also a termite’s antennae is beaded while an ant’s is segmented. Noticing the way that the antennae of an ant looks like will help you to tell what type of ant that you are dealing with so that you may start treating a potential ant infestation.

Both termites and ants have four different wings. However, a noticeable difference is the size of the wings. A termite’ wings are all the same length. However, an ant’s wings have two larger front wings. The wings of termites are also, generally, twice as long as their body. So now that you know what the difference is, continue with the boot squash and don’t get discombobulated trying to figure out the answer to the other question.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Flying Ants

You know that you have seen them and chased them down to wait for them to land and squash them. Ok, so maybe I don’t exactly like flying ants myself and I might have innate tendencies to destroy them, BUT do you know that what you are considering flying ants may indeed be termites? That changes the picture completely…next time I’ll have to bring the gas can and a match for those bastards.

So, what exactly are flying ants? Flying ants are potential queen ants that are forced by the workers to leave the colony and start a new one. These flying ants can make spectacular swarms, which you have noticed in your yard during the summer. Maybe you saw them flourishing around a sidewalk or existing mound or maybe other areas in your landscape. Although many of these flying ants may get sent out, only a few will form future colonies.

When a flying ant becomes a queen, she loses her wings because they are an important source of nutrients as she begins her initial babies. Her first priority is to have as many workers as possible to support the colony. Then the colony will rear soldier ants that protect the colony and finally, after months or even years, the colony will be ready to have new flying ants.

An amazing thing about ant colonies is that the release of flying ants is synchronized. This is why you will notice such large swarms of them. This will usually occur after a few days of rainfall. This is probably because mating occurs when the workers cannot go outside and after they mate, the females are dispatched.

When the flying ants are dispatched, they usually congregate along a tall, prominent feature, such as a stump or a chimney. This is so that they can fly as far as possible to spread their colonies onward. Swarming ants do not pose harm or increase ant infestation. However, if you find a flying ant in your house, then there is a colony close by. If this is the case, then you need to get it treated immediately.

Now that you know the purpose of these little critters, you may realize that they aren’t as harmful as you thought. I mean, all they do is create new colonies and help ants to survive to see another day and terrorize you if you step on their ant hill…

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

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