Labor Day in Attleboro is not your typical affair. Yes, it’s still the same holiday, and people pretty much celebrate it the same way we do around the country. However, people don’t seem to be the only ones that come out to enjoy this holiday. I would imagine that the people living there are not exactly jumping for joy over this insect party crasher. If you happen to visit Attleboro over Labor Day, you’re likely to see giant swarms of flying ants in addition to the local residents.
Eugene Langlois recounts the horror show that Labor Day has been in the past. Langlois claims that while he was inside celebrating the holiday, he saw “tens of thousands” of flying ants swarming around his second floor back deck, as well as near the lights on the outside of his house, near the entryways just outside the doors leading into his house. It appears that flying ants are attracted to light like moths are. The swarm was so huge that when his daughter was returning home that night around 9 p.m. she couldn’t get into the house because of the thousands of flying ants blocking the door. Langlois was able to clear them out enough for his daughter to run inside when he sprayed them with bug spray and then his garden hose. The next morning the outside of the house was littered with the dead bodies of the flying ants that hadn’t already packed up and left the night before.
Langlois has spoken to many other residents to compare their experiences, and most say they have had the same problem with these giant swarms of flying ants. The good news is, flying ants are harmless to humans, and only a minor nuisance under normal circumstances. Entomologist George Williams Jr. says sights like this are common at this time of year. This is when the male and female ants leave their nest to find a partner and breed. Since the ants give off a distinctive smell when looking for a mate, this attracts other flying ants to each other, ending with a giant swarm of them forming. Williams assures people they are nothing more than a nuisance, and are usually gone the next day. If they keep you from getting in or out of your home, he suggests just spraying them with a garden hose like Langlois did.
Have you ever come across a swarm of flying ants?