Do Carpenter Ants Have Wings?
Yes, carpenter ants do have wings and can fly around. But not all of the time, and not all of them can do it. They are one of the biggest species of ants globally, but the winged ones are even larger. Winged carpenter ants are known as swarmers or alates. They look the same as regular carpenter ants but larger. They are deep black, with two pairs of wings coming out of their abdomen.
Swarmers are bred by the carpenter ant queen when they need to reproduce and expand, as these are the only ones that can do so. They will fly around, scouting the area for a possible nest for them to settle down. Once the male mates with the female swarmer, it dies off, and the female loses her wings. After she is wingless, she will start digging around the damp wood nearby to make a nest and begin laying eggs inside it.
This means that if you see winged ants flying around, it’s a sign there’s a fully grown nest around or even inside your house. Look for signs of ants feeding inside your home or sawdust near wooden furniture, windows, fences, anything made out of wood.