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02nd Aug 2021

Irish public advised of top tips to avoid being pestered on ‘Flying Ant Day’

Clara Kelly

Flying Ant Day is a period in late July and early August when the insects begin to emerge from their nests to mate.

Rentokil has advised the Irish public to be cautious ahead of ‘Flying Ant Day’ to avoid being pestered by swarms of ants, sharing some top tips to keep the pests at bay this summer.

According to the pest control experts, Flying Ant Day, despite the title, is not a specific day, rather a period in late July and early August when insects begin to emerge from their nests to mate.

This phenomenon occurs during a period in the summer months when alates, also known as flying ants, leave the nest to reproduce and start a new colony. Swarms of flying ants from multiple colonies conjoin to breed mid-air, leading to a ramp up in infestations.

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 last year.

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.”

Dublin, Cork, Galway, Kerry and Tipperary are the top five counties which have accounted for the most ant callouts so far in 2021.

Dublin has experienced the highest level of callouts for ants so far this year, accounting for 23.5% of all ant callouts in 2021.

Meanwhile, Cork came in second at 14.7%, Galway was responsible for 11.7% of callouts, Kerry 10% and Tipperary accounted for 8.8%.

“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,” Faulkner added.

“If they find a food source, ants can lay down a pheromone trail which attracts other ants to the area.”

Rentokil is advising the Irish public to take steps to keep the ants away, such as:

  • Clearing any spills or food crumbs immediately
  • Storing food in airtight containers
  • Keeping compost and rubbish bins tightly closed
  • Sealing cracks and crevices at doors and windows

The pest control experts also advise keeping windows and doors shut where possible and installing a fly screen to prevent ants from entering while windows and doors are open.

People can find out more about ant infestations by visiting the Rentokil website.