Rentokil is advising the public of the annual phenomenon known as Flying Ant Day and the steps which they can take to avoid the presence of the pest insects in their home or business.
Flying Ant Day is a period in late July and early August when the insects begin to emerge from their nests to mate, rather than a single day.
This phenomenon occurs during a period in the summer months when alates, also known as flying ants, which are the fertile male and female ants, leave the nest to reproduce and start a new colony. Swarms of flying ants from multiple colonies conjoin to breed mid-air.
As an indication of the increased level of activity from the insects during this period, Rentokil recorded a 208% increase in call outs for ants in July 2020 when compared to May of the same year.
Dublin has experienced the highest level of callouts for ants so far this year, accounting for 23.5% of all ant callouts in 2021. Cork (14.7%), Galway (11.7%), Kerry (10%) and Tipperary (8.8%) were the next counties most affected.
Richard Faulkner, Advanced Technical Field Consultant for Rentokil said: “Late July and early August is when we see this phenomenon occur. While it is often labelled as ‘flying ant day’, it is in reality an extended period of time where we see increased activity from the insects.
Ants will most likely enter a premise in search of food and while ant infestations don’t present a danger to inhabitants, they can be a nuisance, and a small problem can quickly become a large one. If they find a food source, ants can lay down a pheromone trail which attracts other ants to the area.”
There are a few steps which people can take to discourage the presence of ants on their premises:
- Clear up any food or liquid spillages immediately.
- Sweep up any food crumbs from under your kitchen appliances and units.
- Store your food in airtight containers wherever possible.
- If you have a pet, clear away any food that isn’t eaten straight away.
- In the garden, keep your compost enclosed and make sure all rubbish bins have tightly sealed lids.
- Seal cracks and crevices around doors and window frames
- Keeping windows and doors shut is one of the most effective methods of preventing flying insects from entering your home or business
- Installing a fly screen will prevent flying ants from entering your home whilst leaving windows and doors open
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