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Talkback: Flying Ants Day

We've got ants in our greenhouse. And we can't wait for them to take to the skies every year, because they make it almost impossible to stay in the greenhouse for more than a minute, on account of the way they crawl up our legs and into our pants.


  • Did you know ants and thyme go together? The soil on an anthill is so fine the wild thyme seeds find it perfect for germination. I have lots of anthills and it is fascinating when they all fly. My children used to rob the eggs to feed their goldfish. However, it is wise to try and avoid a sting from a red ant and if you do get one try not to scratch it when it itches but put on some soothing ointment. Keep them away from picnic tables and the kitchen by a barrier of orange peel divided up into small pieces - the do not like the smell of citric acid. Oh, and do not spill any sugar.
  • That's interesting happymarion, because wild thyme is the foodplant of large blue butterfly caterpillars, which fall to the ground after feeding and are carried into the nests of red ants. Isn't nature wonderful? I have ants in my garden but I don't know where they're nesting. I'd like a really big ant hill so I can make a feature of it.

  • We had this a couple of nights ago - we live in Spain and it was very hot and humid and the swift's and swallows, and bee eaters put on a fantastic display. Not so good for the ants though!!
  • I am missing my housemartins. I had a nest over my bedroom window and use to love hearing them chatter. This was approximately three years ago, plus screeching of swifts and swallows. Only saw four swifts, no swallows or housemartins. I live near Durham, I would love to know what has happened!!
  • Kate I am trying to find out what insect is nesting in my cranebill patch, they are smaller then a wasp. I have become quite fond of them. I actual work around them, if my shadow crosses their nest they come out to investigate on mass.
  • We moved house in January, and i started up a new compost bin,
    And now it is heaving with ant's. The birds are loving it. But im not sure if it's any good for the compost? Doe's anybody know if it's good for compost or not?
  • I should think on the whole ants would be beneficial to your compost by sucking the juices out of the green stuff, so helping it to decompose. Anyway the birds must be depositing some fresh manure on the heap and that is bound to help.
  • Like ziggyblackjayne I have ants in my compost, I have a dalek like compost bin. They are great to see and do no harm to the compost at all, it is however a bit of a pain to turn, for me and ants. Fascinating though to see them pick up all the eggs and rebuild in no time.
    I'll be on the look out for the day they take to the skies, never heard of this.
  • hi there,could someone advise on this;;;
    my sister has an old tree stump that she rests her birdbath on,for the past 3 weeks some kind of insect [we think] has invaded the stump.
    they very much look like flying ant they move in and out very quick,also there is sawdust everywhere around the stump....
    has anyone got any ideas???
    we have looked on-line to see what it could possible be,
    i thought it might be woodworm or perhaps a flying ants nest but we dont think so as ants nest go after a few days or up to a week [well thats what we've been told]....
    ive looked up about dead wood bettle! [not that either].
    thank you.
  • I saw a few flying ants last week. They weren't flying though, just walking around. I have loads of red ants in the garden and get stung nearly every time I work out in the garden. Can't find the nests though!
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