Flying ants or alates are winged colony members involved in reproduction and contribute to the population’s survival by spreading new colonies in the surroundings.
Why Do Flying Ants Suddenly Appear After Rain? Flying ants suddenly appear after 2 to 4 days of rain because it is a breeding time for winged colony members or alates. Moreover, they can be planning to start a new colony and finding for their new brood. These can be attracted to moisture or leave their nests due to excessive soil saturation. Furthermore, these ants leave the ground and fly high in the sky after a few hours.
It is common to see a massive number of ants on the trees, sidewalks, patios, and rooftops after rain because they are going to take a nuptial flight.
What makes flying ants suddenly appear after rain?
Flying ants are not distinct species but are male and female members of the colony having wings. These are named so due to their abilities to fly in mid-air for mating.
Many reasons account for the sudden appearance of these creatures after rain, but the prominent one is that the rainy season provokes them to mate as conditions are favorable.
You can see a swarm of flying ants on the patio in an outdoor area when these winged insects are willing to engage themselves in a mating flight.
Queens begin to produce female princesses in the nest by fertilizing the eggs with sperm when the weather becomes favorable and the temperature is suitable for them.
Mother ants produce workers when the conditions are not favorable for their survival. For example, these insects can predict rain, and the queen introduces fertile females and males into the colony.
These eggs complete their lifecycle and become ready for mating. Then, the colony members push these alates from the nest to build their own nest.
Accordingly, these winged females need an ideal temperature and humidity to get out of their nests and fly higher. In addition, their breeding behavior is different from animals, as they mate in mid-air.
They will suddenly appear in outdoor areas after rain when trying to find their mate. However, when they engage a male for a nuptial flight, they will disappear at once.
So, their presence indicates their willingness to mate and raise a population separately.
Starting a new colony
The presence of ants in the garden after rain indicates that these queens recently landed on the ground after mating and looking for a nesting spot.
The female queen remains in the air until her spermathecal gets filled with millions of sperm. After that, both winged males and females return to the ground, and again you will see a swarm.
Moreover, males keep crawling on the ground until their death because they have a short lifespan, as their purpose is only to mate with a queen and raise the population.
Additionally, the queen takes time to search for a safe and warm place to start a new colony because a wrong decision can lead to her death.
She gets inside the suitable nest and sheds her wings to get nutrition by eating them. These wings give her enough power to raise an army of workers to spend the queen’s life.
Attracted to moisture
Queens get attracted to light and moisture when looking for a nesting spot with good humidity. Moreover, they need water to revive their energy after landing on the ground.
You can see all males and females out of their nests when they need water. A swarm of these insects can roam out of their nest when looking for areas with high moisture content.
Moreover, you can find them moving to indoor areas, providing humid conditions like bathrooms and kitchen cabinets under the sink.
Furthermore, water sprinklers or standing water in the garden can grab the attention of flying ants, which helps overcome dehydration.
Finding food for larvae
Most commonly, queens need food to survive after returning to the ground surface, and wings can only be a temporary source of nutrition for her.
The growing eggs and larvae need nutrition for internal and external development. Accordingly, these winged females have to come out of their underground nests to collect food.
Larvae and pupae cannot mature properly due to malnutrition because they need a high quantity of protein to develop their muscular bodies.
Queens do not bother about food collection when the workers mature as they take hold of the nest activities, including the larvae development.
So, a collection of food to feed eggs and larvae can be the reason for the massive number of ants.
Leave saturated soil
Extremely wet and dry conditions do not favor the growth, multiplication, and survival of ants. They need a calm environment when the surrounding areas and medium, like soil, are slightly moist.
Commonly, rain causes flooding of nests and poses a risk of drowning to their survival. This is because the rainwater seeps into the soil and makes it heavily saturated.
It becomes uncomfortable for these ants to live in wet conditions when there is excessive moisture in their nests. Accordingly, they prefer to leave their place and move to dry spots.
Most of the females and males, in addition to workers, move to the sidewalk areas or patio of the house to ensure their safety until they do not find any other suitable place to build a nest.
What months do flying ants come out?
Most of the time, flying ants remain inside their nests because mature queens do not leave after mating and keep laying eggs within the nest.
However, these old queens produce a new batch of alates during favorable weather to increase their population.
Most commonly, they introduce a large number of males and females during early winter or early summer. This massive swarming event occurs once a year in the month of July and August.
These months are usually rainy, and the external temperature drops to an ideal level, in addition to humidity, favoring their swarming behavior.
However, this swarming event and the sudden appearance of ants vary in different regions and could exceed to September and October when external conditions are not safe for flying.
Do flying ants leave on their own?
Do not worry about the swarming ants when they appear suddenly after 2 to 4 days of rain because they do not remain there for too long.
It is a temporary behavior by winged queens and males after rain, but they will leave on their own. They appear during breeding seasons and fly higher when they find a mate.
In addition, some of them will return to their homes after collecting food and moisture and move to a new location with ideal conditions.
Moreover, this behavior could last from 5 to 7 hours to a few days for queens, while the males remain there until death, which takes around a few days to 1 or 2 weeks.