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Winged Carpenter Ants

winged carpenter ants carpenter ants with wings picture

Do Carpenter Ants Have Wings?

If you see large ants with wings on your property, you might be dealing with flying carpenter ants. While not all ants in the nest have wings, some are part of a special reproductive caste born to spread to new areas. These winged carpenter ants are in charge of producing offspring to expand the colony.

Identifying a Flying Carpenter Ant

Although often mistaken for flying termites, winged carpenter ants have a few distinguishing features. Some of the easiest to spot are their narrow waists, bent antennae, and shiny black bodies. The top set of a carpenter ant’s wings are also longer than the bottom pair, while the wings of a flying termite are all the same size.

Why Do Some Carpenter Ants Fly?

An established colony with enough stored food will produce a generation of flying carpenter ants. Once grown, several hundred of these pests leave the nest in a swarm. Male and female winged carpenter ants will pair off and mate. The male dies, while the female finds a sheltered spot to drop her wings and start a new colony as its queen.

Homeowners, groundskeepers, and landlords may notice flying ants around late spring or early summer. In heated buildings, swarms can happen even during winter. Seeing winged ants in the house or office means the pests may have a nest indoors. Carpenter ants hollow out galleries for their eggs inside rotting wood, so moist walls, windowsills, and roofing are common places to find them.

The Problem with Flying Carpenter Ants

Along with annoying residents and customers by buzzing around, winged carpenter ants indoors often signal a larger infestation. Swarms come from mature nests with around two to five years of growth, so they can suggest existing damage to wood. If you see a winged ant in your house or business, send us a message
or call Waltham Pest Services for expert removal.

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