Ants in your house or yard: December 2010 Archives

Dear Ant Team,
I'm hoping you can help me with my ant query. I live in Sri Lanka, and two days ago, out of the blue, we found 14 ants of the type in the photograph on our bathroom floor. They were extremely sluggish but still alive. Having removed those ants, the next day I found about another 10 on the nearby stairs. These were in a similar state. We recently moved here from Egypt and our shipping arrived last week. We are wondering if something could have travelled in one of the many boxes we have been unpacking of late.
I would be most grateful if you could help me identify them and tell me if I should be worrying about having them in the house. I am concerned I am on the verge of a major ant infestation.
Many thanks,

Dear Caroline,
Thanks for your question. The winged ants that you are seeing are reproductives. To learn about ant reproduction check out this post. Unfortunately, it sounds like you may have an ant colony living in your new home, and judging from the picture you sent these ants are probably some kind of carpenter ant in the genus Camponotus. Winged ants are released from their colonies in swarms at certain times of year and if a colony has a nest entrance somewhere inside your house then when they fly out to find mates they will end up in your house. I doubt that you brought that many winged ants along in your shipping. The boxes probably just happened to arrive at the same time that the ants were swarming. These ants may never bother you again but I would suggest you take a look at this post on discouraging ant pests just in case.

Good luck!
Ben Rubin & the AntAsk Team