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How Do You Identify Flying Ants?

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Quick Answer

Flying ants can be distinguished from other flying insects thanks to their hind wings being smaller than their front wings, their elbowed antennae and their thin waists that narrow at the thorax. Other winged insets, such as termites, have broad waists, wings of equal size and straight antennae.

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All species of ants have three classes: males, workers and queens. The female ants with wings are always larger than winged male ants. Worker ants, which are female ants that are infertile, are the ones that are seen foraging for food by crawling across the ground. While not as common, there are some species of ants that have winged worker ants. Sometimes, colonies can have thousands of winged ants.

All species of ants live in colonies that are established by queen ants, which are fertile female ants. Winged male and female ants can usually be seen in swarms on days after heavy rainfall. After mating, queen ants shed their wings. Males used for reproduction die soon after mating.

When winged ants are found in the home, this generally means that a colony of ants has already established itself in the home or near an opening to the home. Ants often enter homes via small openings in windows and doors.

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