Ants are generally considered wingless creatures, but some of them develop wings and fly during the mating season. Do flying ants bite or sting? Let us find out.
Ants are among the most common insects found across the world, and it is a well-known fact that most of the ant species can inflict bites. Winged ants are no exception, as they can also bite. Otherwise called flying ants, winged ants are those ants, who develop wings during the mating season. In simple words, there is no separate species of flying ants. Flying ants are regular ants that develop wings for a short time for the purpose of mating. They may or may not inflict bites, depending on the species to which they belong.
Flying Ant Bites
Ants do bite, and the symptoms may vary with different ant species. The same applies to flying ants as well. As they do not comprise a separate species, the symptoms of flying ant bites depend on the particular species, to which the ants belong to. Some people may also develop allergic reactions from such ant bites. It is also said that flying ants do not bite, unless you disturb them.
Swarms of flying ants are not dangerous, as far as they are outdoors and you are not disturbing them. If they are indoors, check whether there are established colonies (inside the house), which can be destroyed through pest control methods. If they are outdoors, seal the entry points to the house to prevent the ants from entering. Once inside, the female ants may start a colony in any crevice or similar locations in the house. If flying ants prove to be a nuisance, you may use an insect spray or any other method, to get rid of them.
Some Flying Ant Facts
Flying ants are sexually active males and females, which develop wings only for the purpose of reproduction. You may not see winged members in every ant species, as only some of the species produce flying ants or winged ants. In some species, only the sexually active males have wings. These ants, with two pairs of wings are produced seasonally, by mature ant colonies. They wait till the weather conditions become perfect to leave the colony, to swarm and mate. Usually, swarms of flying ants can be seen during summers. They like warm, humid and clear weather for mating; and so they come out of their colonies, two to three days after heavy rains.
This process is called nuptial flight, during which the female and male flying ants mate. These ants try to avoid inbreeding by searching for a mate from another colony. The females mate with several males and store the sperm in a special organ in the abdomen. These sperms last throughout her life, and is used to fertilize millions of eggs. Once the mating is over, males die within a few hours, and females shed their wings; and try to start a new colony, by making a chamber and laying eggs. Once the females lose the wings, they will never fly again. The swarming process takes 2 to 3 hours, and within a span of around 24 to 48 hours, these ants disappear. You may mistake flying termites for flying ants. While the latter has three parts (head, thorax and abdomen) in their body, the former has only two (head and thorax).