Every year, vast amounts of flying ants appear on the same days in different locations around the UK. You may have already seen these little critters in their hundreds but do you know the reasoning behind their emergence?
Flying ants typically emerge following bouts of rain where weather conditions turn hot and humid shortly after. This provides the perfect environment for the ants to start their ‘nuptial flight’.
The nuptial flight is the first stage of the ant life cycle. Young queens and males leave the nest and scatter to ensure breeding takes place with ants from other colonies. If you look carefully at the ants, some are much larger, these are the queens. The ants then mate during flight.
After the flight has taken place, the male ants quickly die. The young queens land and remove their wings as the attempt to found a new colony by burrowing into soil. From this point, the queen continuously lays eggs which hatch into larvae and will then develop into worker ants.
While black garden ants can be beneficial to your gardens, they aerate soil, improve garden fertility and control other garden pests, there appearance in large numbers can be disturbing to home owners and businesses alike. Effective control can only be achieved by destruction of their nests. A thorough understanding of the ant species, its biology and life cycle is required to achieve effective control.