Flying Ants When UK: Understanding the Phenomenon

Originally posted on June 2, 2023 @ 12:04 am

Flying ants are a common sight in the UK during the summer months. These ants are also known as alates, and they are reproductive ants that fly out of their nests to mate and start new colonies. While the phenomenon of flying ants may appear strange or annoying to some, it is a natural and important part of the ant life cycle. Let’s explore this topic further.

The Basics of Flying Ants

Flying ants are a common sight in the UK during the summer months. These ants are not a separate species, but rather winged members of the common black ant population. The wings are shed after mating, and the ants return to their ground-based colonies. Understanding the behavior of these flying ants is crucial in dealing with potential infestations.

Why Do Ants Fly?

Ants fly for one primary reason: to find mates. Flying ants are males and females who are searching for a mate from another colony. Once mating is complete, the male dies, and the female sheds her wings and begins a new colony. As such, the presence of flying ants is a sign that there is a breeding colony nearby.

When Do Ants Fly?

Flying ant season in the UK typically occurs between July and September, depending on the weather conditions. The exact timing can vary by region and year. However, the ideal weather conditions for flying ant season are warm, humid days with little wind. Ants are also more likely to fly after rain, as this makes it easier for them to take off.

Dealing With Flying Ants

While flying ants are not harmful to humans, they can be a nuisance when they swarm. Here are some tips for dealing with flying ants:

Key Takeaway: Flying ants in the UK are winged members of the black ant population who fly during the summer months in search of a mate. Understanding their behavior is vital for dealing with potential infestations. While not harmful, flying ants can be a nuisance when they swarm. Prevention, natural remedies, and chemical treatments are effective methods for dealing with flying ants. It is essential to debunk myths and misconceptions about flying ants to ensure proper treatment methods.


The best way to deal with flying ants is to prevent them from entering your home in the first place. Seal any cracks or gaps in doors or windows, keep food stored in sealed containers, and keep your kitchen clean.

Natural Remedies

There are several natural remedies that can help deter ants from your home. These include using vinegar or lemon juice to clean surfaces, placing cinnamon sticks or cloves near entry points, and spraying peppermint oil around your home.

Chemical Treatments

If natural remedies do not work, you may need to use chemical treatments to deal with flying ants. There are several ant control products available on the market, including sprays, baits, and powders. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and keep children and pets away from treated areas.

Myths and Misconceptions

There are several myths and misconceptions around flying ants that can lead to ineffective treatment methods. Here are some common misconceptions:

All Ants Fly

Not all ants can fly. Only certain members of the colony, typically the males and queens, have wings.

Flying Ants Mean An Infestation

While the presence of flying ants can indicate a nearby breeding colony, it does not necessarily mean that you have an infestation in your home.

Flying Ants Are Harmful

Flying ants are not harmful to humans. They do not bite or sting, and they do not carry diseases.

FAQs – Flying Ants in the UK

What are flying ants?

Flying ants are male and female ants that grow wings during the mating season. They leave their nest to mate and start new colonies. These ants are commonly seen in the UK during the summer months, usually after a rainy period.

Why do flying ants swarm?

Swarming is a natural behavior in ants during their mating season. The flying ants, both males, and females, leave their colonies en masse to mate, and the swarming behavior is a way to ensure that the two sexes meet and mate.

Are flying ants harmful?

Flying ants by themselves are not harmful as they do not bite or sting. However, the presence of flying ants could indicate that there may be an underground nest nearby. If the nest is disturbed or threatened, some species of ants may bite or spray formic acid, which can cause skin irritation.

How can I get rid of flying ants?

To prevent the presence of flying ants, it is important to eliminate any potential nest sites, such as piles of old wood, bricks, and vegetation. If you have an issue with flying ants, you can use ant baits or sprays to eliminate them. It is best to consult a pest control professional if the infestation is severe.

Are there different types of flying ants in the UK?

Yes, there are numerous species of flying ants in the UK, each with distinct physical features and behaviors. Some of the most commonly spotted species include the black garden ant, Lasius niger, and the flying ant of the wood ant, Formica rufa.

When do flying ants typically appear in the UK?

Flying ants typically appear in the UK during the summer months, usually after a rainy period. The exact timing of the swarming can vary depending on the weather and location, but it usually occurs between mid-July and early September.