If you are like most of San Antonio, you probably enjoyed the little rainstorm we had last week. But, you may have noticed, so did the ants. Many people are calling and bringing by winged ants, wondering what they are and if they are bad. They are most likely not harmful to the home, structure, or your health. But, to be safe, feel free to give me a call or bring some samples by the office for positive identification.
Last week, the hot dry summer, combined with nearly 100% humidity all week and the Thursday rainstorm, made for the perfect formula for ant swarms. All the ants I have recieved have been native ants, harmless and no need to control. Ants usually swarm in 100% humidity or before or after a rain. Swarming ants have wings, and fly up in the air to mate. They drop back down the ground and the females start a new nest.
Many times, those swarmers are attracted to the light in a window, or porch light near a window. They find a little crack and make their way indoors. This is what many people are experiencing right now. You may have woken up to a large amount of little winged insects on a window sill, on a counter, or trapped in a sink or bathtub.
Its probably nothing to worry about. It may happen again if we get another rain in the summer, or next year, but the chances are it won't happen regularly. You may have already noticed you woke up one day and they were there, and it hasn't happened since. If this is the case, that's a good sign. It's just an incidental occurance and the ants are pretty much harmless.
Again, if you are concerned that they may be harmful, please bring them by the Bexar County Extension office to be identified. Always safe than sorry - and it is important to know if they are termites or not.
For more information about ants please visit: www.extension.org/fire+ants or http://fireants.tamu.edu. Or read these publications: B-6043 & B-6183 at http://agrilifebookstore.org.