Ant attack: Flying ants invasion on the way

As a result of the early and warm start to our Summer, Rentokil is advising that the annual nuptial flight of ants is imminent.

As such, an ant invasion is likely to be seen over the coming days and weeks as flying ants make their annual return.

Rentokil ie flying ants 1

The close, humid weather conditions currently being experienced provide the perfect ambiance for garden ants to get steamy and start their ‘nuptial flight’, or mating on the wing.

The ants appear suddenly as they leave the colony together in one coordinated flight, which is also synchronized with the flight of ants from neighbouring colonies.

The nuisance pests, known as black garden ants, usually begin foraging as early as January but become obvious and a real nuisance during their nuptial flight.

The nuptial flight season generally peaks in July, after which the lovers abandon their amorous ways.

After mating, the female ants discard their wings and burrow into a tunnel to lay their eggs and hibernate for the winter. Unfortunately for the males, they die after the deed is done!

Richard Faulkner, Advanced Technical Field consultant with Rentokil said: “The majority of black garden ants come in to your home to forage for food, in particular sweet and sticky substances.

To reduce the likelihood of an ant invasion in your home, you should take the following precautions:  

1. Clear away food and liquid spillages immediately

2. Clean food debris from the floor under kitchen appliances

3. Make sure all rubbish bins have tightly sealed lids 

4. Clear away your pet’s food after eating

5. Seal access points such as cracks and crevices in door and window frames

6. Always cover food, you don’t know where the ant has been before it crawls across your food!

Rentokil ie flying ants 3

There are also many myths surrounding flying ants and how to kill them, which include pouring boiling water on the colonies and using vinegar to get rid of them, but both are untrue.

What is even worse is this summer is set to be a bumper year for wasp populations.

Statistics show a dramatic 55% increase in the number of callouts relating to wasp infestations this year, in comparison to the same period in 2015.

The increase in the wasp population can be linked to external environmental factors such as the weather - mild weather, especially over winter months, means a higher survival rate of queens, which in turn means more colonies. 

Favourable weather conditions also mean that insect prey species and vegetative food sources will also be in abundance.

Have you spotted any ant or wasp nests? Send us your pictures.

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