Printer Friendly

Why flying ant day could be earlier than usual - with billions more in the skies; We've had the greenflies, get ready for the ants to clog up the skies, after a huge surge in call outs for pest controllers.

Byline: Simon Meechan

Everysummerthere comes a time you regret wearing white clothing - flying ant day.

Although the 'day' can last a fortnight, there is often one or two days locally where you will notice millions of ants clogging up the skies. A walk through or a street or park usually ends with your clothes covered in the winged insects.

It's due to the queen ants leaving theirnestsand taking to the skies as they search for a spot to start a new colony. Flying ant day is similar to last month'sgreenfly invasion, although that was a rarer event triggered by unusual weather conditions and a lack of wind to disperse the aphids.

Flying ant day usually occurs in July, but experts say unseasonably warm weather means it could happen this month - and lead to an extra 50 billion of the ants in UK skies.

Rentokil says it has seen a huge spike in call outs to control ants, and claims the UK ant population could rise to 200bn, instead of the usual 150bn, Mirror Onlinereports.

Why are there flying ants and will they swarm their way into my back garden?

A spokesman for pest control firm Rentokil said: "There has been a significant increase in ant activity across the UK.

"Ant-related call outs increased 148% from March to April.

"Experts believe the rise could be attributed to the unseasonably warm start to the spring - after Brits experienced record-breaking warm weather in April.

"Last month's period of clear skies and the hottest April day since 1949 may explain the surge in activity, as ants are typically more active in higher temperatures and colonies use sunlight to navigate.

"If the weather remains mild, Rentokil expects higher levels of ant activity throughout the summer period.

"Ant life-cycles depend on temperature, and the amount of food available to them.

"Provided the queen is healthy, and enough food is being brought back to the nest, ant eggs have a greater chance of survival.

"Ants can hatch after just three weeks, leading to increased breeding and larger colonies during prolonged warm periods."

Rentokil's head of technical training, David Cross, says last month's ant infestations were at levels usually seen in late June or early July.

According to David, if the weather stays warm, it could be a 'bumper year' for flying ants, and they could take to the skies earlier than usual.

"It's rare to see ant infestations in cold or overcast weather, and while the 'Beast from the East' may have caused them to remain dormant in March, the sudden change in temperature has since brought them out in their droves.

"This trend could be set to continue throughout the rest of the summer."

He added: "If temperatures remain high, we also expect this to really be a bumper year for flying ants, which could manifest itself at 'Flying Ant Day' - the 'nuptial flight' stage of ant reproduction where swarms of flying ants are prominent."

Expert tips on how to get rid of the annoying greenflies which are taking over the North East

Clean up after yourself - mop up spillages, don't leave dirty washing up in the sink and keep surfaces clear of food as once ants find a food source they leave chemical trails to lead others to the area

Keep food sealed and rubbish bags tightly done up to avoid attracting ants

Keep an eye out for ants on the patio or garden - follow where ants 'disappear' into cracks - likely to be where their nest is - and douse with ant killer.

CAPTION(S):

Credit: PA

A flying ant on court fourteen on day three of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon
COPYRIGHT 2018 MGN Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2018 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:The Chronicle (Newscastle upon Tyne, England)
Date:Jun 5, 2018
Words:614
Previous Article:Lost Voice Guy announces Newcastle show - when and where to see the Britain's Got Talent winner; Fresh from his Britain's Got Talent win, Lost Voice...
Next Article:Sunderland streaming live League One matches next season 'is a no-brainer' says Charlie Methven; The Black Cats have announced they will stream all...

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters