Fly­ing army of ants on its way to the re­gion!

Solihull News - - JULIAN KNIGHT MP - JAMES RODGER james. rodger@reach­plc.com

FLY­ING Ant Day 2018 ap­pears to be fast ap­proach­ing – and the West Mid­lands is on alert.

Soon, huge fly­ing ants will be ap­pear­ing across re­gion.

The in­sects, which ap­pear across the UK, have given birth to what has be­come pop­u­larly known as ‘ Fly­ing Ant Day’.

It sees count­less thou­sands of the lit­tle crea­tures land­ing on cloth­ing of res­i­dents across the UK.

The fly­ing ant pe­riod can ac­tu­ally last a few weeks, but ex­perts say it typ­i­cally builds up to a spe­cific day.

A spokesman for Ren­tokil said: “There has been a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in ant ac­tiv­ity across the UK.

“Ant- re­lated call- outs in­creased 148 per cent from March to April. Ex­perts be­lieve the rise could be at­trib­uted to the un­sea­son­ably warm start to the spring – af­ter Brits ex­pe­ri­enced record­break­ing warm weather in April.

“The pe­riod of clear skies and the hottest April day since 1949 may ex­plain the surge in ac­tiv­ity, as ants are typ­i­cally more ac­tive in higher tem­per­a­tures and colonies use sun­light to nav­i­gate. If the weather re­mains mild, Ren­tokil ex­pects higher lev­els of ant ac­tiv­ity through­out the sum­mer pe­riod. Ant life- cy­cles de­pend on tem­per­a­ture, and the amount of food avail­able to them.

“Pro­vided the Queen is healthy, and enough food is be­ing brought back to the nest, ant eggs have a greater chance of sur­vival.

“Ants can hatch af­ter just three weeks, lead­ing to in­creased breed­ing and larger colonies dur­ing pro­longed warm pe­ri­ods.”

David Cross, head of the tech­ni­cal train­ing academy at Ren­tokil Pest Con­trol, said: “Last month we saw re­ported ant in­fes­ta­tions rise to lev­els we wouldn’t usu­ally ex­pect un­til June or July.

“It’s rare to see ant in­fes- tations in cold or over­cast weather, and while the Beast from the East may have caused them to re­main dor­mant in March, the sud­den change in tem- per­a­ture has since brought them out in their droves.

“If tem­per­a­tures re­main high, we also ex­pect this to re­ally be a bumper year for fly­ing ants, which could man­i­fest it­self at ‘ Fly­ing Ant Day’– the ‘ nup­tial flight’ stage of ant re­pro­duc­tion where swarms of fly­ing ants are prom­i­nent,” he added.

PIC­TURE: JEROEN VAN LULN/ FLICKR

Fly­ing ants are set to in­vade the UK

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