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…

1 comment:

Negi said...

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