Nuptial Flight and How it Affects You
Generally, ant species native to the UK will remain outside, and their activities should not affect yours. British species are not aggressive, and their nesting habits will not do any harm to our buildings.
When ants make their way inside, however, that is when problems start to arise. In domestic settings, this can be a nuisance, especially when a long line of ants make their way from the kitchen through the house and back to their nest. In a commercial setting, however, it is entirely unacceptable.
Towards the end of Summer, we enter the nuptial flight season. This can lead to a host of problems within buildings and is something we will cover in this blog post.
Nuptial Flight Explained
Nuptial flight is a critical reproductive phase within the colonies of ants, termites, and some species of bee. In ants, the process begins as potential new queens emerge from the nest, which a number of male attendants. Having sprouted wings for the upcoming flight, they will take off in search of new territory to establish a colony.
For British ants, the season generally takes place between June and September, although the for most colonies the process will begin in July through to late August. This year, the season may be somewhat disrupted throughout Europe due to the heatwaves and extended Summer we are going through.
The male ‘flying ants’ will impregnate the new queens in the journey, meaning the female is ready to start up her continuous factory of eggs immediately upon finding a suitable location. At this stage, many of the new colonists will not survive, and their journey comes to an end. Others will survive, creating colonies with a real chance of success.
Perhaps the most interesting fact about this phenomenon is the fact that colonies within an area will often coordinate their attempts. Generally, these winged ants will emerge from their respective nests simultaneously, searching for new territory at precisely the same time.
It truly is a wonderful and exciting process; that is until one of these explorers decides to establish their nest within your home or commercial property.
Challenges in Dealing with Ants
Ants are small but incredibly sophisticated in terms of their organisational and social capabilities. Once even one exploring worker ant finds a source of food within your home, you can expect the rest of the colony to be alerted within the hour.
In addition, the queens are capable of producing an overwhelming number of eggs. Queens live very long lives in comparison to other insects, often as long as five years or more, and throughout this time lay a seemingly endless string of eggs.
This is why killing individuals will not work. You can physically squash all of the ants entering your home, and you can use contact insecticide within your property to kill any visitors, but it will not work. The queen will still be lying deep within her nest, being delivered food and laying egg after egg ready to replace fallen workers.
At Clark Pest Control, we use other more effective methods.
How Clark Pest Control Tackles Ant Colonies
Knowing fine well just how resilient ants can be, we use two primary methods of dealing with ants quickly and decisively.
Firstly, if we are able to find the nest, we may be able to use insecticide to cripple the nest at the source. Provided the nest is relatively accessible, our technicians will apply an effective insecticide, making the nest uninhabitable, ensuring the queen will no longer be able to lay eggs replenishing the troops.
If we cannot find the nest, we have to use other methods. The trick is to get the ants to cause their own downfall, by taking substances which they believe are food back to their nest. These substances, however, will affect their nervous system instead.
To achieve a positive result, you need a substance which does two things. Firstly, it has to be attractive to ants, so that they actually collect it and find it worthy of bringing home. Secondly, it cannot work too quickly. Otherwise, the ants will never make it back to the nest in the first place.
At Clark Pest Control, we employ Advion Ant Gel. This substance is so attractive to ants that they will often prioritise it over other genuine food sources. The ants genuinely cannot resist the poison, and within no time they will leave a pheromone trail from the source back to the nest so that hundreds of other workers can help to bring it back too.
Secondly, the substance will take some time to affect the ants. By the time their nervous systems are damaged, the gel will be all over the nest and will eventually be fed to the queen herself.
Using this method, we can sneak the poison into the nest as a sort of Trojan Horse and cripple the ant colony to the point of total failure.
Get in Touch
Dealing with a thriving ant colony yourself is difficult and occasionally impossible. The most likely outcome is that you will spend a lot of money buying poison which might alleviate the symptoms but will do nothing about the disease itself.
The trick is to get access to the nest and deal with the source itself. Otherwise, the ants will continue to reproduce and replace every fallen worker until you finally give up.
By hiring our professional technicians, you can rest assured that the problem will be dealt with swiftly and decisively, regardless of the location of the nest or how numerous the colony is.
To speak to one of our operators or book in a job today, give us a call on 0800 808 5615.
Alternatively, fill in the contact form on our website, and one of our personnel will be in touch as soon as possible.