Flying ants emerge on unspecified and unpredictable days during the summer people have come to know as Flying Ant Day. The day, which changes every year, will see the ants flock from their nests in their millions when the weather is at its most humid. Unfortunately, people eating outside or just trying to exist with their windows open may find their days ruined by the floating pests.
Adam Juson, founder and CEO of Merlin Environmental exclusively told Express.co.uk that this “day” isn’t just a single event as it can happen in “any warm, calm day”.
He explained: “Flying ant days occur when black ants take to the wing in order to search for food, water, a new home, and a mate.
“Temperatures must be above 13 degrees Celsius and wind speeds below 6.3 metres per second for flying ants to emerge.
“In the UK, these events most commonly occur in July and August, when the temperature is above 25 degrees celsius.”
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But if it becomes a great inconvenience, then there are steps you can take to rid yourself of the problem.
The expert said that the first step is to locate the nest, which is usually “pretty easy”.
Just follow the ants back to where they emerged.
To remove the nest Adam said: “Unless the ants have made their nest in a movable receptacle, like a plant pot, in most cases, this is going to involve destroying the nest.
“There are various methods you can use to do this, including pouring boiling water on the nest or spraying soapy water into the nest.”
Flying ants can’t cope with dishwashing soap, because it attaches to their bodies and dehydrates them.
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The expert added: “For a friendlier approach, try placing a large plant pot over the nest. In the course of a few weeks, the ants will move their nest into the plant pot, then you can safely relocate it.”
In order to repel flying ants from homes and gardens, Britons can also place “deterrents and traps by doors and windows”, says the pest control expert.
One particularly effective hack is to use apple juice and artificial sweetener.
Adam said: “Dishes of artificial sweetener mixed with apple juice will kill ants when they take it back to their nest.”
Mixing in artificial sweetener with apple juice makes a viscous paste that’s toxic for ants.
Luring them in with the mixture will result in them carrying it back to the colony, other ants eating it, and a portion of the population being killed off.
Flying ant also detest the smell of certain herbs and spices, making them a great deterrent.
The pest control pro said: “They don’t like the smell of herbs and spices, such as cinnamon, mint, chilli pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cloves, or garlic.”
Homeowners can mix these spices and herbs with water to create a solution and spray around the home on entry points.
Plus, if the spray hits any of the insects, it will dehydrate and kill them.
As well as deterring them, it is important to avoid attracting them.
Adam said: “If you leave food out and uncovered, you’re essentially inviting ants into your home.”