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Dublin: 7 °C Friday 15 November, 2019
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Ant callouts 20 per cent higher this year

Rentokil has reported a 20 per cent increase in call-outs about ant infestations, with numbers of both red ants and common black garden ants on the rise.

Image: Owen Humphreys/PA Archive/Press Association Images

ANT CALLOUTS ARE already 20 per cent higher this year than the same period last year, Rentokil has said.

It turns out that the warm temperatures aren’t just welcomed by us, but by the growing Irish black garden ant population, who begin their nuptial flights at this time of year.

Rentokil were expecting a big increase in ant numbers last year, but report this never happened. Instead, ant callouts are already 20 per cent higher in 2012 than this time last year.

Ants

Both red ants and common black garden ants have been on the increase across the country since the beginning of June, said Rentokil.

Ants don’t always stay outdoors, so ant nests can be found in locations inside and around the home, such as in cavity walls, under flag stones and patios.

Scientist Dr Colm Moore, who is technical manager at Rentokil, said:

The majority of black garden ants will only come in to your home to forage for food and are attracted by sweet and sticky substances.

He has given these tips to keep your home ant-free:

  • Clear away food and liquid spillages immediately
  • Clean food debris from under kitchen appliances
  • Make sure all rubbish bins have tightly sealed lids
  • Clear away your pet’s food after eating
  • Seal access points such as cracks and crevices in door and window frames
  • Always cover food – you don’t know where the ant has been before it crawls across your food

Species

Did you know that there are around 30 species of ant in Ireland, including the common black garden ant, red ants and even the Pharaoh ant?

Common black garden ants and red ants do not actively carry diseases; but because the Pharaoh ants’ diet is different it can carry harmful germs.

Read: It’s Friday, so here’s some anteaters from around the world>

Read: Scientists harness hormones to create ‘super-soldier’ ants>

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