Invasion of the flying Ants!
Look out UK, Flying Ant Day is nearly upon us.
Flying Ants can commonly be seen in July so tie down those picnic hampers………
Despite the name ”Flying Ant Day” the flying ant season can last for two weeks or more.
Due to the warm weather we have had in April and May, we could expect a record invasion of flying ants this year.
Billions of the tiny winged insects are set to take to the skies after the ants emerge from their nests.
Experts estimate there could be an extra 50 billion ants this year.
Bad news for people with myrmecophobia – otherwise known as a fear of ants!!
What are flying ants?
The most common type of flying ant is your standard black garden variety ant (Lasius niger), whose nests have a single queen and anything from 5,000 to 15,000 workers.
The aptly named “Flying Ant Day” occurs when ants sprout their wings and head off on what’s known as a “nuptial flight”.
Nuptial flight is an important phase in the reproduction of most ant species. The flying ants are sexually active males and females who have been waiting all summer for the perfect conditions to come together and create their own colony.
Once the ants begin to fly, other can ants smell the chemical that they produce and join them, with swarms often lasting all day.
The insects then reproduce before the queens lose their wings and find somewhere to lay eggs for a new colony as the males die off.
The larger ants you sometimes see walking around alone are the new queens hunting for somewhere to set up their nest.
As she wanders off alone without her army of protectors, she may often be killed by rival colonies, but, if successful, the new queen lays her eggs in her newly found hiding place.
Her eggs will hatch into infertile female workers who will then build her nest, forage for food and guard their queen.
Over the winter the colony will become dormant hence why we do not have the same issues with ants that we do in the summer months- but the colony is never fully asleep.
When spring returns, the queen starts to produce fertile and winged females and males. These are cared for by the workers until it is time for the next fun filled flying ant season!
Lucky for us, flying ants, although an irritation, do not bite humans and are not dangerous.
There are some things that you can do to minimise an invasion of the pesky creatures.These include:
- clearing food and liquid spillages immediately
- storing food in airtight containers
- blocking off cracks around windows and doors
- making sure all rubbish bins have tightly sealed lids.
At Healthguard our technicians are experts in the treatment of Ants. Call Us Now on 01522 869500 and we will have a technician out to assist you.