close up of a flying ant

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If you are seeing flying ants around, on, or, heaven forbid, inside your home, you may be wondering what they are and if they are dangerous in any way. There is no doubt that these creatures can be fascinating, but they can be an important warning sign if they are the right, or perhaps the wrong, type of ants. 

Although you do not need to worry about flying ants stinging or biting you, if you are seeing big, winged, black or reddish colored ants flying or crawling around on your windows or other areas, you should take heed. Seeing flying ants means that there is a mature nest nearby, either outside or inside your home. When an ant colony matures and is near its maximum population, it will produce and send out flying ants to start new nests. If the ant you are seeing is a carpenter ant, you could be looking at trouble.

close up image of a flying ant

Identifying A Carpenter Ant Infestation 

Since flying ants only appear briefly, before disappearing to begin new nests, here are a few other signs you can keep an eye out for to know if you have these wood-damaging ants in your home. 

  • If you see a single large ant wandering around in your home, this may be a carpenter ant scout. These are usually black, but can sometimes be a dark red color. And they are the largest type of ant you will see inside your home, measuring typically around 7 and 12 mm in length. Males and winged swarmers can measure up to 18 mm. If it is a carpenter ant, and if you have good eyesight, you should see a single node between the ant's thorax and its abdomen.

  • If you see piles of wood shavings underneath wooden items, this can be a sign of carpenter ants. These ants do not eat wood the way termites do, so they need to remove the wood they chew. They will push the shavings out of "kickout holes" after chewing tunnels and galleries. But keep in mind that often this "frass" is kicked out in places that are hidden, such as inside wall voids or in crawl spaces.

  • If you hear faint rustling noises inside woodwork or walls, this may be carpenter ants hard at work destroying your home. 

Destruction From Carpenter Ants 

  • Damaged wood: As mentioned, carpenter ants carve galleries inside wood. They chew tunnels and nests relentlessly day and night until damage can become quite severe. This can cause structures to weaken, which can cause additional problems in a home.

  • Doors malfunctioning: Doors may begin to stick or not close properly if carpenter ant damage is severe enough.

  • Windows malfunctioning: Windows may become more and more difficult to open and close as well.

  • Walls, floors, and ceilings warping: Walls may begin to bulge, floors may begin to sag, and ceilings may start to warp if carpenter ant damage is severe enough.

flying ant on a stick

How To Keep Carpenter Ants Out 

  • Examine the outside walls and foundation of your home and seal up any gaps or cracks you can find. Look carefully around electrical conduit, pipes, air conditioners and anything else that enters into your home. A caulking gun is a good tool for small gaps and cracks. And don't forget to check your roof area as well.

  • Remove food sources. Open garbage, pet food bowls, barbecue leftovers, etc., are all very attractive to carpenter ants and other household pests.

  • Remove water sources. All pests require water. Explore your yard and the exterior of your home and remove or dry up any wet or moist areas you can find.

  • Keep vegetation trimmed back away from your home. Ants and other pests use these as bridges to access the outside of your home.

  • Reach out to a professional pest control company.


If you have seen large black or red flying ants, or any of the other signs of a carpenter ant infestation, don't wait until the damages are severe. Arrow Pest Control is here to help. These wood-destroying ants cost U.S. home and business owners millions of dollars each year. Protect your investment and your wallet and get professional help today.

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