What Are Swarming Ants?

14 June 2024 · 3 min read


At Greenhouse Termite and Pest Control, we’ve been receiving numerous calls about swarming ants around homes in Tampa. If you’ve noticed these little winged invaders on your property, don’t panic! Here’s everything you need to know about swarming ants, why they’re appearing, and what you can do about them.

Understanding Swarming Ants

Swarming ants are winged ants that emerge in large numbers, usually in warmer months. This phenomenon is part of their natural mating process. When conditions are just right – typically after a rain shower and in warm, humid weather, which makes Tampa the perfect environment for them to thrive– ant colonies send out their winged members to mate and establish new colonies. 

It’s crucial to understand that these ants are not a different species but rather a reproductive phase of the common ants you see throughout the year. Species like the Argentine ants, odorous house ants, and pavement ants are common culprits behind these nuptial flights. The swarms can look intimidating due to their numbers and aerial nature, but they are a natural part of the ant life cycle.

Why Are Swarming Ants Around Your Home?

Seeing swarming ants outside your home can be alarming, but it’s important to understand that they are not necessarily a sign of an infestation. These ants are simply on a short-term mission to reproduce. They are not interested in invading your home; rather, they are focused on finding mates and establishing new colonies elsewhere. 

The ants are usually attracted to locations with ample food and moisture. Gardens, lawns, and mulched areas provide ideal conditions for them. Additionally, homes with exterior lights on during the evening can attract these swarming ants, as the lights can disorient them, causing them to gather in well-lit areas. 

Swarming Ants vs. Termite Swarms

One critical point to consider is that swarming ants can be easily mistaken for termite swarmers. Both ants and termites produce winged individuals that fly out to mate and establish new colonies, but they are entirely different insects with distinct behaviors and implications for your home. 

Below is a comparison between swarming termites and swarming ants.

Swarming insects with wings and body piles.

What Can You Do About Swarming Ants?

While it might be unsettling to see swarmers of ants around your home, there’s generally no need for concern. Here are a few tips to manage the situation:

1- Be Patient: Swarming ants are a temporary nuisance. They typically disappear within days or a couple of weeks as their mating season concludes.

2- Turn Off Outdoor Lights: Ants are attracted to lights at night. Keeping your outdoor lights off can help reduce the number of ants swarming around your home.

3- Seal Entry Points: Although these ants are usually found outside, it’s always a good preventive measure to seal any cracks or gaps around windows and doors to prevent any pests from entering your home.

Our Experience At Greenhouse

Even we at Greenhouse are not immune to these swarming events! We recently observed swarming ants on one of our trucks parked at our Tampa office. It was quite a sight and a perfect opportunity for us to share more about these fascinating creatures with our community. 

We documented this experience and shared a video on our TikTok channel, featuring Brenton, the bug stud, who explains how to handle swarming ants and provides additional insights. He will reassure you that these ants, while inconvenient, are usually harmless and temporary.

Swarm of insects clustered on a vehicle's hood against a residential backdrop.

Stay Connected 

For more information and expert advice, call our office to ask any questions you may have about these ants. Be sure to check out our latest video on TikTok featuring Brenton, the bug stud, discussing swarming ants. Remember, while swarming ants can be a nuisance, they are usually not harmful and will soon be on their way. If you have any concerns or questions don’t hesitate to contact Greenhouse Termite and Pest Control. We are here to keep your home pest-free and provide peace of mind.

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