They are often mistakenly mistaken for their own genus of ants, although ants with wings are nothing more than sexually mature males and females on their wedding flight. In the local regions it usually starts from mid-May that the flying ants swarm out. Up until this point in time, they were looked after by the workers in their parents’ building. Now they go in search of the opposite sex, with the females being mated by up to 40 males. After this wedding flight, which lasts only a few hours, the males die, the females shed their wings and either found their own state or return to their previous nest. The ants with wings do not pose a threat; but nobody wants them in the garden or in the house.
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Probably the most effective method is not to let the ants into the house in the first place. It is therefore advisable to use the following tips to prevent the annoying insects from moving in:
- Window with a fly screen.
- Seal all holes and cracks on the house with silicone.
- Keep windows closed in the dark when the lights are on.
- Position lavender plants on the entrance doors.
- Set up fragrance lamps with lavender oil around the house.
- Spread bowls of sugar water or syrup and washing up liquid around the home.
- Break the ant roads towards the house with baking soda or crushed eggshells.
- Draw chalk lines around the house.
- Lay out copper coins.
- Do not leave food and drinks open.
- Put away pet bowls immediately after use.
In principle, ants cannot stand all acidic substances. Spreading vinegar or lemon juice on the house in endangered areas spoils their desire to set up camp there. However, acidic agents should not be used near plants because they could damage the roots. A combination of these preventive measures has the greatest chance of success in keeping flying ants out of the house. The environmentally conscious and animal-loving hobby gardener will not resort to the not infrequently proclaimed procedure of fighting the approaching ants with boiling water, because these animals play an important role in the ecological balance and do not deserve such a painful death.
Getting rid of flying ants in the house
Ants are so smart and robust that it can happen that all preventive measures do not work. If there is a nest in the house, this can be recognized by the fact that a steadily growing number of ants move through the house on regular streets. In spring and summer, these are the workhorses who are busy tending to the queens and males until they leave for their nuptial flight. At one end of these caravans is the nest, at the other end is the source of food they found in the house. Once the uninvited guests have moved in, the following pesticides are available:
- Eliminate all possible sources of food.
- Block the entrances to the nest.
- Sprinkle the ant trails with vinegar or lemon juice.
- Hang up glue traps.
- Draw strong chalk lines.
- If possible, put the wooden feet of the kitchen furniture in soapy water.
- Seal the end strips of cabinets.
- Spray the nests with vermouth manure.
- Let the yeast dissolved in water run into the nest.
- Spray swarming winged ants with hairspray.
- Set up a bowl of stale beer as a trap.
- Staghorn salt mixed with sugar creates a deadly trap.
- Hang insect lights with UV light.
Chemical pesticides should only be used in the house in extreme emergencies. The ants with wings are completely destroyed; however, it can also harm children, the elderly and pets. If the flying ants are buzzing through the rooms, a sponge soaked in sugar water can become a deadly trap. In search of food, the insects crawl in and drown in their pores. The flying pests also run away from the sharp smells of chervil, thyme and marjoram.
Fighting ants with wings in the garden
Although ants are seen as a nuisance, especially when they enter the house or interfere with being outdoors in huge swarms, they still perform various useful tasks in the garden: They dig up the upper layers of the earth, help break down organic waste or distribute plant seeds . Therefore, the ecologically responsible hobby gardener will tend to drive flying ants out of the garden rather than destroy them. However, if the infestation prevails, the use of deadly poisons may be inevitable. Aside from the vinegar, the aforementioned smells can also be used outdoors – applied in the right places – to encourage ants to pack their suitcases before the nest-building or wedding flight takes place.
In addition, the following practices have proven effective in controlling flying ants:
- Sprinkle the resulting nests with yeast.
- Mulch beds with parts of the tomato plant.
- A mixture of water and cigarette ash acts as a deadly poison.
- Put pieces of copper sheet into the nest.
- Place ferns, juniper leaves, or lavender leaves on the ant trails.
- Sweep ant roads back up again and again.
- Scatter baking soda or mix it with water in the watering can.
Ant baits from specialist retailers run the risk of harming other animals as well. In particular, they should not be used when small children, dogs or cats move around the property. On the other hand, one of the most considerate ways to get rid of flying ants is to get the entire state to move. For this purpose, depending on the size of the building, a flower pot or a bucket is filled with wood wool or straw. The garden friend puts this over the anthill. After a few days the ants moved to their new home. Then just slide a spade under it, lift the whole thing up and move it to a more suitable location, where the ants’ wedding flight with their wings does not disturb anyone.
Curb winged ants on the patio
Since ants always appear in hordes, they can do a lot of damage on the terrace if they build their nests under the slabs or floorboards. The panels can sag and become dangerous tripping hazards. If the flying ants then start their wedding flight, whole swarms of them will inevitably find their way into the house. In such a case, gardening enthusiasts can hardly avoid resorting to a deadly agent. The following non-chemical mixture has proven itself:
- 1 jar of honey
- the same amount of water
- 30 g Natron
- some apple cider vinegar
All ingredients are thoroughly mixed together. The resulting pulp is distributed in the immediate vicinity of the ant burrow. Baking powder is sprinkled over it. All crawling animals that come into contact with it die. Depending on the size of the ant colony, this method can be repeated several times. Also effective are:
- Coffee grounds
- Algae lime
- Rock flour
- baking powder
If these funds are scattered, the workers carry them with them to the nest, where the queen and the males perish as well, so that the dreaded wedding flight does not even occur. However, it should be noted that these agents have no or only a very limited effect if they have become wet from rain or irrigation water.
Use non-toxic nematodes to combat flying ants
A special type of nematode has proven itself as a non-toxic control agent so that the wedding flight does not even occur, in which, in the worst case, thousands of sex animals swarm. The nematode genus Mermis has only recently been shown to be an effective ant parasite. The roundworms are spread over the nest with a watering can and immediately attack the larvae. Mother nature seems to have known nematodes as a means of combating ants for millions of years, because nematodes have also been discovered in fossil female ant workers.
Fighting aphids, prevents ants plague
Whether in the apartment or in the garden; wherever plants are attacked by aphids, ants are also drawn. They even defend the harmful plant suckers and breed them, because ants are crazy about the honeydew that aphids excrete. Therefore, indoor, balcony and garden plants should be checked regularly for aphid infestation. It is not uncommon for pots and flower boxes on patios and balconies to house nests with ants when aphids have also spread. The use of natural predators of aphids such as ladybirds, lacewings or hoverflies will not have any effect in this case because the ants protect them against them. So close to the apartment windows or even in the apartment itself, it is necessary to take effective measures immediately. Once the ants set off with their wings, they quickly populate the rooms of the apartment. In addition, the plants that are occupied by the crawfish die within a short time. Since there are nematodes on the market that control aphids, a combination of nematodes against ants and against aphids would be an effective approach in this case.
In these cases, the professional is required
At an early stage, the described agents against ants and the resulting flying ants are certainly effective and effective. However, it may be necessary to bring in a professional expert to control the plague in the home and garden:
- There is a large ant burrow in the house.
- It is a wood-damaging ant species.
- The population is rampant.
- Every year the flying ants appear in the house and garden.
Pest experts will be able to determine the type of ants and will be able to offer advice and assistance. In these cases, resorting to a chemical insect spray can make the situation even worse, because only the sprayed animals perish. Your conspecifics will look for new ways to besiege the garden or to penetrate the house.
Recognize the most dangerous species of ants
Among the 200 species of ants occurring in Europe, there are three species that are particularly dangerous for gardeners and home owners, which also carry out the wedding flight:
- one of the most dangerous types
- very small at 2 to 3 mm
- preferably nestle in the masonry
- fly out several times a year
- brownish yellow with a dark head
- a common type
- winged males up to 5.5 mm long
- Females with wings 8 mm long
- prefer earth nests
- invade homes and contaminate food
Black-gray garden ant
- dark brown to black color
- Legs and antennae reddish
- Mating season from late May to August
- often live under pavement and patio slabs
What all the species described have in common is that winged males and females swarm over and over again for a wedding flight for over four months.
During the most beautiful months of the year, from May to August, an open window can be perceived by the flying ants as an invitation to visit the house. They are not really dangerous; but since in the worst case there are hundreds or even thousands of them, the enthusiastic gardener feels called upon to fight the plague in the house and garden. A plethora of organic home remedies have already proven their worth, especially baking soda and baking soda. The chemical club should only be used when it is unavoidable, because the flying ants do not want to harm anyone, but are simply on their wedding flight.