Flying ants are regular ants winged for mating purposes, so regular solutions such as chemical sprays, DEET, a natural ant killer such as peppermint oil, or bug zappers work in their case as well. For real infestation problems, the colony needs to be destroyed and you can do this by either attacking it directly or by poisoning flying ants and thus the queen.
Contrary to what some people believe, flying ants do not belong to a separate species. These individual insects are members of established ant species in which winged varieties appear for short amounts of time when the ants are mating. These flying insects should not be a problem if you see one here and there, so they can usually be ignored.
On the other hand, things are not as easy if you are dealing with an infestation. While ants can be harmless in many situations, if their number does get out of hand, they can create significant damage to a property, so getting rid of an infestation as soon as possible is the right approach.
There are two ways in which you can kill flying ants, namely on sight or by getting rid of the colony. In this article, we’re going to see what the potential solutions are in such cases, and what particularities you should keep in mind before dealing with the situation.
How to get rid of flying ants?
One of the first solutions for a potential infestation consists of using commercial aerosols. There are plenty of products you can choose from the market, including universal bug poisons that can be used for any kind of ants. Sprays can be effective against flying ones, but you need to make sure that you choose a product that has an easy-to-direct spout.
On the other hand, you need to make sure that you always follow the instructions written on the label, in order to prevent any kind of potentially dangerous misuse. If you have children or pets in your home, you should do your best to keep them away from the product and for a while after you’ve used it in a certain room.
You should also carefully read the label to make sure that it’s safe to use the spray indoors and, of course, that it’s legal to use in your area (although if you buy it from a local specialized store, you shouldn’t have any such issues).
In care you would like to try a more natural alternative first and see if it works, then peppermint spray might be the answer to your question. Peppermint oils are known to kill insects, especially smaller ones like flying ants, through suffocation. You can mix some of this oil with dish soap and water, and then pour the solution into a spray bottle.
You can get the right mix if you use one part liquid soap and two parts water, and over these two ingredients, you add drops of peppermint oil. You need to mix it well in order for the elements to combine, and then spray it over the flying ants that you can see either flying or resting.
Dish soap alone can be effective in killing these insects, given that it sticks to their bodies leading to dehydration and eventually death. You can use a spray bottle for this as well, mixing dish soap and water inside. However, keep in mind that while dish soap is not as toxic as other pest-control chemicals you can find in stores, it should still be kept out of reach if you have kids.
You can use diatomaceous earth as well to regain control over your property. This substance causes dehydration and death, thus it can prove quite effective in keeping flying ants from becoming a problem. What you can do is lay a perimeter around various food sources. When ants step into it, their bodies will be affected by the small granules, leading to their death.
We know this doesn’t sound like a friendly approach at all, but no matter how harmless insects might normally be when it make their way into your home in large numbers, you have to do something about it. Going back to out trap, you should try to use food-grade diatomaceous earth if possible, given that it’s a much safer alternative to have around children or pets.
You shouldn’t wet the diatomaceous earth since it needs to be dry in order for the sharp granules to be effective. This solution might indeed be less effective when it comes to flying ants, given that some of them might simply fly over the trap and into the food. What you can do is choose dry types of food and sprinkle some of the substance right onto it.
There is another solution that can work very well for flying insects, namely a bug zapper. If there’s a particular area in which you have noticed more flying ants than the rest of your property, then that’s where you should think about installing such a device. You can simply hang the bug zapper there and let the unit do the job for you.
Keep in mind that zappers should be placed in open areas, as much as possible, so that insects can fly into them without any problem, for full effectiveness. Even though these devices do come with protective layers, kids and pets should not be allowed to play around them. Bug zappers are not usually powerful enough to cause harm, but the shock is still not pleasant.
The bug zapper itself should be enough to lure the insects toward the trap, but you need to make sure that you carefully read the provided instruction in order to avoid any potential hazards.
Taking care of the colony
If you want to get rid of flying ants once and for all, then you need to figure out where their colony is. Keep in mind that these creatures live in large groups, so if you suspect that once the colony is attacked, the situation might get out of hand, then you should call a specialist beforehand, to see how everything should be managed in the most effective way.
As we’ve already mentioned, flying ants are the sexually active version of regular ants, so the colony we are referring to will consist of mostly regular ants. The first thing that you should do is observe where the flying ants appear most often and see if you can determine where the nest is.
If this is not possible, you can always look for specialized solutions that you can spray on flying ants and that they can take back to the colony where the poison can act. If you are not sure which substance would get the job done, you can always ask for help from a local specialized store.
Ant baits are usually the most effective solution for attacking the entire colony since ants tend to take it back there and the queen consumes it and dies. If this happens, the rest of the colony has the same fate.
Remember that ants can have different preferences when it comes to food, depending on their species, so if one sugar-based product doesn’t work, try a protein-based one. In this case, as well, make sure that you carefully read the instructions in order to avoid any misuse of a potentially dangerous substance.
Borax and sugar
You might not be aware, but borax is very toxic to ants, so if they ingest any, they have every chance to die, especially if they take some back into the colony. While they are usually able to tell the substance’s poisonous scent, if you mix it with sugar, they won’t be able to tell the difference.
What you need to do is mix sugar and borax in equal parts and then slowly add water to this combination, while continuously mixing them until you get a paste. You can simply spread it over a piece of plastic or cardboard and leave it where you know flying ants are hanging out. They should normally be drawn to it, and they might also take some back to the colony.
Keep in mind that the paste will likely dry out in a few days, which means that you might need to make some additional batches if you still see flying ants around. You should also avoid using borax around kids and pets since they can get poisoned as well.