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Ireland’s ant population ‘reaching a ten-year high’

Humans aren’t the only creatures becoming more plentiful in Ireland, Rentokil warns, offering tips to avoid infestation.

THE RECENT CENSUS showed that Ireland’s human population is reaching peaks not seen for decades, but we’re not the only ones growing in number on this island.

The country’s ant population is reaching a ten-year high, according to pest control company Rentokil, which has warned of a surge in potential infestations due to particularly hospitable weather.

Rentokil’s call-outs to tackle ant infestations were higher in the first three months of 2011 than for any similar period in the last decade – so the arrival of summer will probably mean a larger-than-usual presence of creepy crawlies.

The insects typically take wing between June and August, when flying ants emerge to mate during the warmer weather. Once some ants begin to fly, they emit a chemical smell which then entices others.

“With the summer well and truly upon us, conditions and all indications point to large populations in the field,” Rentokil Ireland’s technical manager Dr Colm Moore said.

“Conditions will soon be optimum for the ant-making ritual. Now is the time house-holders and businesses should put precautions in place to avoid an ant infestation.”

Moore offered a series of simple tactics to help counter the possibility of an infestation:

  • Clean up any spills or mess immediately
  • Clean out bins regularly cleaned and keep them sealed
  • Clean food debris from under fridges, ovens, cupboards, desks and worktops
  • Ensure entry points are sealed to stop them coming in. Common areas tend to be around pipes, drains, windows and door cracks
  • Vacuum regularly
  • Fix plumbing leaks and control moisture levels
  • Store food in containers

If you are unlucky enough to find an infestation in your house, be assured that although black ants can bite, they don’t carry diseases and usually ignore people unless their nests are disturbed.

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