16th August 2022
Households warned to prepare for FAD - Flying Ant Day
As the UK basks in the continuing summer heat wave experts have warned households to prepare for what’s been named FAD - Flying Ant Day.
Outdoor experts from GardeningExpress.co.uk have told Brits to expect an invasion of winged ants any day now as the heatwave continues.
Although there is no specific date for Flying Ant Day, the experts say that typically a day arrives after a prolonged heatwave when winged ants flee the heat of their nests to take to the air.
Despite ants being harmless, a swarm of them are certainly a nuisance and using things such as washing up liquid and boiling water can help keep them at bay.
Chris Bonnett, founder of GardeningExpress said: “Most of us have been enjoying the heatwave but while we’ve been making the most of the sun, a storm has been brewing.
“There is no specific day for Flying Ant Day, it’s usually just around mid to late August and it typically happens after a heatwave.
“The reason for this being that ants prefer humid weather and they use this time to get on the lookout for a new home and whilst that’s all well and good, it becomes a real nuisance for those of us who enjoy spending time in our gardens and outdoors.
“Ants in the UK aren’t dangerous but they can be extremely irritating. We’ve put together some ways to get rid of ants in your garden before they’ve even become a problem.”
How to get rid of ants:
Place tin cans on top of the ants’ soil mounds in the morning, and they’ll move their eggs into the tins during the day as they heat up. Slide a card under the tin in the afternoon, and you can then dispose of the next generation of ants before they’ve even had a chance to become a nuisance.
If you don’t mind using a traditional chemical treatment, dust this around doors, patios or other dry areas where any pathways are spotted. These powders also work on other crawling insects and wasps too. But it’s worth being extra careful how and where you use them, especially if you have young children around.
This trick is particularly good for cracks in paving, or nests in lawns where any activity is spotted. Simply pour boiling water onto the area and this should not only get rid of any ants you can see, but any pupae it touches as far as it penetrates the ground. Try to avoid your flower beds and borders, or any planters, as you don’t want to steam your coleus in the process
Washing up liquid
This trick works just the same way as it would be used on your plants for aphids – just add a generous squirt to a spray bottle filled with water, shake to disperse and get spraying those ants.
This is one to put you off using the stuff yourself, as it is deadly to insects. You’ll need to mix it with something like apple juice to make it palatable to the ants, but this then creates a paste that is toxic to them. Simply pour a bit near to nesting sites and the ants will carry it back to the colony – meaning masses of them will consume the poisonous paste and knockback the population.
Cayenne pepper and cinnamon
Sprinkling cayenne pepper and cinnamon around your plants and garden will help keep ants at bay. Ants hate the smell of things like cayenne pepper, cinnamon, mint and garlic.
Water and white vinegar
Similar to the washing up liquid trick, simply fill a spray bottle with a mixture of water and white vinegar and get spraying. If you find you need something stronger you can ditch the water and spray affected areas with white vinegar alone.