Typically flying ants appear at the end of summer each year, with a designated day known as “Flying Ant Day”. However, changes in temperature and humidity can mean ants appear earlier than usual, and some have already been experiencing the pesky bugs.
Often known as alates, flying ants are the fertile male and female ants.
The purpose of these ants is to leave the nest to reproduce and start a new colony.
This happens in the form of swarms where flying ants from multiple colonies conjoin to breed mid-air.
Twitter users have been quick to complain about the irritating bugs, with one person writing: “It’s officially the worst season… it’s flying ant season”.
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Another said: “Of all the strange things I’ve discovered are normal in England, the day when thousands of flying ants rise from their nests every year is by far the most disgusting one.”
A third wrote: “General 2020 rule. Don’t leave the house.
“I only wanted to visit Homebase which was quite post apocalyptic and the local Superdrug which is when the flying ants attacked. #flyingantday”.
While a fourth added: “My @Ocado delivery van just got attacked by a swarm of flying ants . 100’s of the buggers”.
Do all ants have wings?
According to Rentokill: “Generally the fertile males and females (alates) are the only forms of ants which have wings.
“However, this can vary depending on the species of ant, as there have been cases where the workers have wings as well.
“Most sightings of flying ants are the alates rather than the workers.
“For the most part, the majority of the sightings of flying ants are the alates rather than the workers.”
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Six tips for getting rid of flying ants
1. Spray with dishwashing soap
Surprisingly one household item can tackle flying ants and that is dishwashing soap.
The soap attaches to the bodies of the ants and dehydrates them.
You can use a spray bottle and fill it with water and two to three squirts of dish soap, and then spray it at any flying ants you see.
2. Use sticky tape to catch them
If you place some food on the ground to attract the flying pests, you can place some sticky tape down with the sticky side up.
Put the tape as close as possible to the food, and the ants will land on it.
This will then trap the ants in place and stop them from flying anywhere else.
3. Use insecticidal powder
Using traditional bug-killing methods like spray and powder can prevent an invasion in your home.
Place insecticidal powder around your window or door frames, or spray bug spray to prevent any unwanted guests.
4. Use artificial sweetener
Despite ants having a speciality of invading picnics and swarming over discard foods, some sweeteners are toxic to them.
If you want to get rid of a large number of ants in one go, mix an artificial sweetener with apple juice and leave it out for them to get.
The ants will then carry this odd paste back to their colony and it will kill a large swathe of them.
5. Pour boiling water into the anthill
If you have a troublesome ant hill in your garden, one method to get rid of the occupants is to pour boiling water down the hole.
This should kill most of the ants and deter any returning ants from coming back.
6. Place tin cans over the anthill
First thing on a morning head out to the anthill and place a tin can over the entrance.
As the sun heats up the tin can, the ants will carry their eggs up into it.
Then, later in the day use a piece of cardboard and slide it beneath the tin can, and dispose of the eggs.
You can place them on a bird feeder as they make a nice treat for birds.
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