Recent news seems to suggest that there is a booming ant population in Ireland this year. With the news that Ireland is facing the largest ant population in 10 years, it appears that ants are converging en masse on Ireland.
And it is not just common black garden ants but the number of red ants too that are on the increase.
Thankfully, this should not be a major cause for alarm. Black garden ants do not actively carry diseases, unlike mosquitoes or flies, but they may well have crawled across some nasty, dirty outdoor areas before they venture inside your home to forage for food and end up on your worktops (my personal experience of this is still very vivid in my memory!). So, personally I would double up on your house cleaning efforts to dissuade them from entering your home.
Simple steps can help to get rid of ants:
• Clean up any liquid spills or food mess immediately
• Clean out bins regularly and keep them sealed
• Sweep up in your kitchen – clean food debris from under fridges, ovens, cupboards
• Ensure entry points are sealed to stop ants coming in. Common areas tend to be around pipes, drains, windows and door cracks
• Vacuum regularly
• Store food in containers
However much we all find ants a real pain to have in our homes, it is worth mentioning some interesting facts about these little crawling insects as you may acquire a new found respect for them:
• The ant has the largest brain for an insect, relative to its size. It has more processing power than the computer that controlled the first NASA moon mission!
• The ant brain has 250,000 brain cells compared to a human’s 10 billion – considering the difference in size that still sounds like a lot of brain power to me!
• An ant has the strength to carry food up to seven times their own body weight – not sure even weight lifting champions could come close to that!
• The combined weight of every ant in the world is greater than the combined weight of every human!