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Dublin: 7 °C Sunday 8 December, 2019
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Eek! Warning of spike in ant infestations

Rentokil has seen an increase in calls about infestations of the creepy crawly black ants.

IF YOU’RE TERRIFIED of ants, be prepared… because according to Rentokil, it has experienced a dramatic spike in calls relating to the tiny insects over the past month.

Now it is warning homes and businesses to be vigilant in protecting against ant infestations.

Last year Rentokil experienced a 20 per cent spike in callouts compared to the previous year, and it predicts that numbers will rise again in 2013.

It explained that Irish black garden ants usually begin foraging as early as January, but become very obvious during their nuptial flight.

According to Rentokil, which can get rid of such infestations, callouts this year have greatly increased compared to the same period in 2012, and this could be down to external factors such as weather.

Tips

You might think that ants just stay outdoors, but Rentokil reports that nests can be found in a number of place in and around the home, such as in cavity walls, under flag stones and patios.

Dr Colm Moore, technical manager at Rentokil says that 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 recommends these precautions:

  • 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

Ant myths

There are a number of myths that surround getting rid of ants. Rentokil says that boiling water only provides a temporary solution as the main nest is usually too deep for it to work effectively.

Also, vinegar doesn’t kill ants but it can remove the trace of ants to confuse them about where to find their colony.

Feeding ants grains won’t cause them to explode, contrary to what some think.

Read: UN: People need to get their heads around eating insects>

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