We’re going to be discussing alates now what are alates. Well alates are basically insects that have wings. So it’s a winged insect. You know like flies, bees, wasps, even ladybugs have wings. But what happens is there are some insects that have wings and don’t fly. Other insects grow wings and then lose them. And these are the ones that freak out a lot of people out.
Alate Insect Pest That Have Wings
For instance German roaches have wings but they don’t fly. Now the your close cousin the Asian cockroach which looks almost identical has wings and does fly and they can live outside the German Roach doesn’t live outside. They’re primarily a domestic pest.
Now you have the American cockroach which is known as a palmetto bug. Well that one has wings and that one does fly. And if you’ve ever come in contact with one of them and they start flying you start freaking out.
Insects That Become Alate or Grow Wings
But we have to understand that there are also insects like ants that produce wings and these are known as alates and they will produce these wings when they’re ready to mate. They will leave the nest and they will fly away to mate with other queens so male and females will mate knowing what are known sometimes as nuptial flights.
Well guess what. Termites also have this ability. They’re known as termite swarms. And if you’re different times of the year there’s gonna be different swarms in different parts of the country depending upon the termite that’s there.
Flying Ant Alates Vs Termites
Now a lot of people get freaked out because what happens is they think they have termites when they actually have ants that are just performing nuptial flights. And here in South Florida we have a lot of these ants that at different times of the year will do this crazy and we’ll do it.
We will have carpenter ants that will do it. We have a go stance that we’ll do it and people think they’re calling us and saying we have gnats we have fungus gnats. And what they have is an actual just flight a nuptial flight of these alates.
So there’s a lot of people that are calling and they’re confused and they don’t know. Well guess what. The best thing to do is take a picture of it and send it to your local pest control company or send it to your local university or entomology program and they can quickly I.D. this for you.
But most of the time we’re getting calls like out with crazy ant and they’re flying around and they’re getting in through the windows. And what can you do about alates. Well actually you can do very little because you can’t control them when they’re in this flying mode because they’re technically right now a flying in seconds like trying to control flies outside when they’re flying all over the place very very difficult to do.
So what you’ve got to understand is get a get a good id know that you have an ant versus having a termite and know what time of the year the termites swarm.Now there are basically four termites around the country. You have the foremost in termite the subterranean termite. The dry wood termite and the damp wood termite.
Now here in Florida we have an exception where we have a high bred termite which is a combination of the Asian subterranean termite and the foremost and termite which was discovered I believe in 2012. And there’s very good information on that online by the University of Florida and IFAS which will give you the details on that but knowing this and knowing that there certain types of insects that will get wings and then they will drop them once they’re done mating will help you determine if you have one or the other.
The other thing that we want to discuss is that a lot of these insects when they drop their wings those wings are used by the colony as food. In the case of a lot of ants which are known as tramp ants. So these are useful things to know to help your clients or help yourself trying to figure out what it is that you’re dealing with. If this has been helpful to you.