Flying ants in your home can become a real nuisance because they can get into your cupboards, food, and even give you a nasty sting! It’s fairly easy and cheap to get rid of winged ants if you notice one or two flying around your house during summertime.
There are many natural ways to prevent ants from infesting your home. Actually, you probably already have in your cupboard ingredients like vinegar, lemon juice and sugar that can repel and, only if necessary, kill flying ants (also called winged ant swarmers). Some of these ants can give you a painful bite or sting and even spread disease.
Therefore, some people choose to exterminate ants that are in their home. The benefit of using natural methods to get rid of flying ants from your home is that although they are toxic to ants, most of them aren’t harmful to you, your family, or pets.
If you notice ants flying around your home, you first of all need to make sure they are not flying termites. Termites can do extensive damage to the wooden structures of buildings.
You can distinguish between flying ants and flying termites by the length of their wings and their body shape:
- Winged ants have a pinched “waist” while winged termites have a broad waist.
- Flying ants have a pair of large front wings and a smaller pair of back wings, while winged termites have two pair of same-sized wings.
Natural Ways to Get Rid of Flying Ants
Flying ants are sexually-mature ants who are looking to start a new colony. Most species of ants produce winged ants that fly. Some of the most common types of ants that invade homes are fire ants, carpenter ants, Pharaoh ants, and Tawny crazy ants.
In many cases, you need to eradicate ant colonies near your property to prevent flying ants from infesting your home.
Find the Nests
If you notice flying ants in your home, it is important to inspect your yard and house to see if there is an ant colony nearby. To get rid of the ants and prevent flying ants in your home you will have to destroy the ant colony. Ants like to nest in dark damp places. Some of the favorite places where ants like to build nests are crevices in trees or in the soil. In your home, they can live in any kind of dark space, for example under kitchen cabinets, empty spaces in furniture, near sinks, and in the house structure.
To find where flying ants are nesting, you can observe where ants in your house are traveling to and from. Try to see if they are carrying any food because that can help you identify what is attracting them to your home.
Boric Acid and Honey Baits for Flying Ants
Use boric acid and honey baits to get rid of flying ants and their ant colony. Boric acid and honey work because the honey attracts the ants and the boric acid kills off the ants when they take it back to the nest and digest it. Boric acid and honey bait is also one of the natural ways to get rid of ants in general and not just flying ants.
Boric acid should be treated with respect because it is toxic. It is a pesticide/insecticide and can cause harm if it is ingested so keep it away from children and pets.
You should mix 2 tbsp. honey and 2 tbsp. boric acid in a small bowl. Spread some of the boric acid bait on a cardboard and leave it where you see the ants. Replace the ant bait every other day until you have completely got rid of the winged ants.
Peppermint Oil Spray for Flying Ants
Peppermint oil spray effectively repels flying ants and gnats because they don’t like its strong smell. To make a natural aerosol insecticide to kill ants you should fill a spray bottle with 3 parts water, one part dish wash liquid and put in a few drops of peppermint oil. Spray this on the winged ants to get rid of them. Or, you can spray this solution directly on the nest if you have a larger infestation of ants. Always shake well before use.
You can also try substituting or adding tea tree oil, lavender oil, lemon oil or cedarwood oil to the mixture because these essential oils also repel ants.
Cinnamon Leaf Oil Spray for Flying Ants
Try using cinnamon leaf oil to make a natural spray to repel flying ants. Cinnamon leaf oil is effective against ants because it contains high amounts of eugenol, a natural insecticide that repels and kills off ants, insects and other bugs. A study in 2004 showed that cinnamon oil is a natural ant repellent with insecticidal properties.
To make a cinnamon oil spray to exterminate flying ants, you should mix 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cinnamon leaf oil in a cup of water. Pour this into a spray bottle and use to get rid of flying ants. You can also prevent flying ants and regular ants entering the house by spraying on areas of entry. Always shake well before using.
Spray flying ants with a vinegar mixture to get rid of them. The acid in vinegar is a safe insecticide which effectively kills off flying ants.
To make a vinegar spray to eradicate ants, you should mix equal amounts of vinegar and water. Spray the solution on the winged ants or directly in their nests.
Vinegar is also effective in getting rid of sugar ants.
Lemon Juice Spray
The citric acid in lemon juice acts as an effective insecticide and it can help you to keep ants away. It also has the added advantage that it acts as a natural room freshener and is completely safe around the house.
Squeeze the juice from 1-2 lemons into a spray bottle and fill with water. Shake well and use the lemon juice spray on flying ants to eliminate them naturally.
Regular dish soap is a great way to stop flying ants from becoming a pest in your home. The soap sticks to the wings of the ants and stops them from flying. This is an especially effective way to get rid of flying ants because everyone has dish soap at home, but not everyone will have essential oils.
To get rid of ants flying around your house, mix one part dish soap with 3 parts water in a spray bottle. Mix well and spray on flying ants.
Mint as an Ant Repellent
If you’ve noticed a few ants flying around your home and don’t want to kill them, you could use mint leaves as a natural ant repellent. This can stop flying ants from continuing to nest in your home. However, this method requires some time and vigilance to completely eradicate the ants.
Make a powder from dried mint leaves and put this around the area where the ants are nesting. This should repel the ants from the place and after some time the ants should disappear. After that, it is essential to seal the crack or hole where the ants are using to enter your house.
In general, it is a good idea to have mint plants in your garden because they are one the best natural ways to repel wasps.
Baking Soda and Sugar
Similar to the boric acid and honey method, baking soda and sugar can help to completely get rid of flying ants by exterminating the source – the nest. Baking soda is safe for humans but toxic to ants. The sugar attracts the ants to the mixture and they then take it back to the nest. The ants die off when they digest the baking soda and sugar.
Preventing Flying Ants Around Your Home
Once you have completely got rid of any flying ants around your home, it is important to prevent them from returning.
To avoid attracting flying ants to your house, make sure that any leftover food and debris is cleared away and garbage cans are securely fastened. Check for any small leaks under sinks where water and moisture gather because that also attracts ants.
Remember that flying ants usually only appear at certain times of the year, usually in late spring or early summer. Many people refer to these flying ants as swarmers because of the large swarms that they fly in. This is the time when winged ants fly out of their old colony to mate and establish a new colony. Therefore, it’s important to be especially vigilant around these times of year if you want to prevent an infestation of ants.