Lock (and seal) your doors: Britain warned to take precautions during massive ant invasion
- Experts say ‘perfect storm’ of weather has led to record numbers
- 64% increase in callouts to deal with infestations
Britain is in the grip of an ant invasion, it has been revealed.
Pest experts blame the extremely wet and warm July for a 64 per cent increase in call-outs to ant infestations.
They say the ‘perfect storm’ of conditions had led to record numbers of the insects.
While July’s combination of heavy showers and short spells of fine sunshine proved frustrating for sun-starved Brits, latest figures show it may have provided the ideal conditions for a far smaller part of the population to thrive.
Pest control experts, Rentokil, revealed that incidences of ant problems were almost two-thirds higher last month than in July 2011, with a 64 per cent increase in call-outs to treat infestations.
Both red ants and common black garden ants caused problems during July, not only outdoors but also inside and around the home, such as in cavity walls, under flag stones and patios.
An ant infestation can prove dangerous as ants can contaminate food and sterile areas.
Doctor Kate Turner, head of operational technical 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.’
It is the second warning of an ant invasion this year.
Last month Britons had to deal with the annual swarming of flying ants.
The Society of Biology received hundreds of reports of flying ants ready to leave the nest, and is relying on members of the public to report sightings of ant mating flights.
However, the news is not so good for wild birds.
Cold weather at the beginning of the year has led to a fall in the number of wild birds, the RSPB said today.
The RSPB’s Make Your Nature Count survey shows during spring the number of baby thrush sightings was down by almost 30 per cent compared to last year.
The society blamed cold and wet weather during the breeding season making it harder for adult birds to feed their chicks.
House martins were down by almost a quarter, while swifts were down by around 10 per cent compared to last year.
RSPB conservation scientist Daniel Hayhow said: ‘Each of the 78,000 people involved in Make Your Nature Count has helped to give us data on a scale that just wouldn’t be possible if we tried to collect it in any other way.
‘It’s really useful as a snapshot of how UK wildlife fared this summer and a number of species may have had tough time in the cold and wet weather.’