Although most ants are wingless, during certain times of year swarms of winged ants are a common site to see. These ants are most commonly known as alates, swarmers, or reproductive. They are commonly mistaken for termites, though there are a few things that do set them apart such as elbowed antennae, thin waists, and smaller hind wings than that of the front. There are three parts to the ant colony, queens, males, and workers. The female winged ant is larger than the male, and workers (or infertile female ants) are seen crawling and foraging for food. Only some species of ants have wings and few have winged worker ants.
Winged ants are most commonly seen after a heavy rain and generally swarm. Queens generally begin as winged ants and once they have mated with a male, shed their wings. The males however, die soon after mating with the queen.
If you find winged ants within your home, generally a colony has already made roots and are entering through an opening in a window or door jam. You should call pest control if this is the case and have the colony exterminated as soon as you notice them inside your home. The faster you can exterminate the pests, the stronger your chances are that they are only a small and easy problem to be handled. The bigger the colony, the harder it is to exterminate these pests.
Finding Winged Ants in Your Home
If you find winged ants inside your home during the summer could mean that they just happened to find their way inside, although if you see them during the winter months it could mean that a strong colony of carpenter ants could have nested within the structure of your home. This can mean a big problem since carpenter ants can do quite a bit of damage to the structure of your home and may cause even bigger problems that you may have to repair to your home.
The process for exterminating winged ants is simple if you are going through an exterminator to take care of the problem. Their nests will be injected with insecticidal dust and a spray will be done around the outer area of each room as well as outside your home. This will keep them from continuing to thrive inside your home as well as being able to enter your home. The process of extermination is generally simple and takes only one treatment to fix. There are cases however of the need to another treatment to rid your home of the remaining stragglers that were somehow missed from the first treatment.
You can also buy sprays and bombs to exterminate winged ants from your home. These sprays can be effective and low cost, although you may need at least 2 or 3 treatments to ensure the infestation is properly annihilated. The use of these sprays should be done exactly as the directions read to be the most effective and it is suggested that an inspection by an experienced exterminator is done to ensure you have killed off the infestation properly.
Winged ants will not harm you although they do show that there is a sign of a more serious problem and can mean the structural integrity of your home may be in the process of being compromised. Ants will eat away at the wood that forms the inner structure of your home and if ignored could severely damage your home. It can also cause costly repairs that need to be done to your home to repair the damage done by winged ants and their colonies.