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Flying ants – also known as swarmers or alaten – often seem to appear around the UK on the same sunny day, ‘flying ant day’. While their presence doesn’t pose much of a threat to humans, their constant swarming can be annoying, especially when dining outdoors.
In general, you will encounter the black garden flying ant the most (Lasius niger) in your garden. In some cases, their nests have anywhere from 5,000 to 15,000 ant workers, so a big swam can be bad news for summer parties.
Wondering how to get rid of flying ants? Check out everything you need to know ahead of flying ant season…
When is Flying Ant Day 2022?
While flying ants buzz around for a few weeks, they tend to appear all over the country on a similar day. While there is no set date for flying ant day 2022, it usually falls in July or August on a hot humid day (often after heavy rainfall). Because ant swarms are caused by temperature, ants can often appear over a large area on the same day if conditions are similar everywhere.
The Royal Society of Biology (RSB) says: “Flying ants often seem to appear in different locations in the UK on the same day – flying ant day. Most ant colonies start with a flying ant – when young queens leave the nest to their own colony. Our research showed that there is often not just one flying ant day, but flying ants are seen on as many as 96% of the days between the beginning of June and the beginning of September.”
Why do flying ants suddenly appear?
Flying ants — whose sole purpose is to establish a new colony — often appear in large groups as this gives them protection from predators (they are safer in large numbers). You will likely see them appear during the summer months as they begin their “nuptial” flight. With breeding on the agenda, they are attracted to warmer seasons when the temperature, humidity and wind are just right for them.
How do I get rid of flying ants?
Like other insects, flying ants are attracted to sweet, delicious treats, such as honey. To keep them away from your home, things to do include keeping the kitchen surface clean, sealing bins, keeping food out of sight, and mopping floors to make sure there are no ant trails.
While prevention is the best way to get rid of them, you can try to banish their presence by using an all-natural peppermint oil spray. Put a few drops in a spray bottle, add water or dish soap and mix well. It may not stop them from coming back, but it will certainly reduce their current presence.
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How long do flying ants stay around?
Winged ants appear for several weeks, usually at high and humid temperatures. Another reason ants stay around in large numbers is to increase their chances of reproduction, as larger groups mean they don’t have to go far to mate.
Are flying ants bad?
No, flying ants are not bad or dangerous. While carpenter ants can chew through wood and cause property damage, flying ants will not bite and are not poisonous. However, a large swam can lead to a full-blown ant infestation around your home.
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