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On Flying Ant Day, flying ants emerge from their nests in their droves to find a mate. Often there are so many ants that these swarms appear as black clouds on weather radar. Read on to find out more about what Flying Ant Day is and when the phenomenon is likely to occur in 2021.
What is Flying Ant Day?
Male ants and new queen ants leave their nests to mate on Flying Ant Day, a phenomenon which is known as the ‘nuptial flight’.
After the mating has taken place, male ants die and the fertilised female ant will chew off her wings.
The queen ant will then set up a new ant colony where she can welcome her offspring.
When is Flying Ant Day 2021?
Flying Ant Day tends to occur on different days throughout the summer months, depending on the UK location.
According to the Royal Society of Biology, the day Flying Ant Day takes place is determined significantly by the weather conditions.
In the past, Flying Ant Day has often taken place in the UK at some point in July.
In 2020, Flying Ant Day took place on July 12 for much of the country.
According to the Natural History Museum, Flying Ant Day usually coincides with a period of “hot and humid weather”.
The Museum’s website explained: “Winged ants appear at different times around the country and local weather conditions are critical for the coordination of swarming activity.
“Ants tend to fly earlier in urban areas than rural areas, probably because temperatures are generally warmer in urban environments, known as the urban heat island effect.”
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How to prevent ants from entering the home
At any time of the year, ants are usually unwelcome visitors when they make their way into the home.
But there are plenty of easy and natural methods to deter the pests from the house.
According to the Guardian, blocking entry points, such as tiny cracks and holes, can help prevent ants from entering the home.
Then wash down the surrounding area with hot water, mixed with vinegar or lemon juice, as this works to remove the scent trails ants rely on to get back into the house.
Kevin Newell, the founder of Humane Wildlife Solutions, told the publication: “If you keep it clean, and you wipe that whole area, you’ll essentially remove their scent trail so they’re back to stage one.
“Then if you make sure, that same night, to clean your kitchen floor to within an inch of its life, and there’s no food there to be found, even if the ant comes in again, when she doesn’t find anything she’ll simply go back out, and it will be deemed an area where there’s no food for them.”
It is important to bear in mind these steps are a possible preventative measure for deterring ants from entering the home.
But if ants in the home are already a problem, alternative methods to remove the ants need to be considered.
In this case, some may want to consider contacting a professional pest controller to deal with the infestation.
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