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Talkback: Flying Ants Day

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  • Too Many ANTS?
    The last few years my garden has become just full of ants everywhere. They are even getting into the house, where I will kill them. I know they are beneficial, but I think that too many might be hurting my garden.

    They are now all over my grapevine. My mother has never had these problems with her vine. i would love to think the herd just a bit. I also don't see as many insects as before, I do not use chemicals. And my compost bin has to be rodent resistant so no birds can get in to dine.

    ANy help is appreciated!
    Am I wrong? I live in Chicago but get the best advice here.
  • Lots of ants together freak me! I don't know why and I can't stand having them in the house. Have been nipped a few times in the garden so don't like when I see them there too.
    I might try to be a bit more tolerant as Kate has pointed out they are a good food source for birds. I'll try my best!
  • Lazygardener - that's sad about your house martins. Why not try luring them back by making them a bespoke nesting box (http://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/projects/make-a-house-martin-nest/) or leaving a muddy area for them to build their own in spring? Or both... Re your unidentified insects, are you sure they're not bumblebees? You could ask Richard Jones, or email us a photo (see our Contact us page).

    ziggyblackjayne and Ryan - the fact that ants are nesting in your compost bin means your compost is too dry. If you don't mind the ants the leave them be, but the usual trick is to water the compost heap - the ants move on and your heap breaks down quicker as it's moist. Dry heaps are also favoured by rodents...

    daisy rose - leave a comment on one of Richard Jones's blogs, I'm sure he'll know what it is.

    Brenda - I'm sure your ants won't be harming the garden, they'll be part of the natural balance. Could you try to attract birds into the garden by feeding them?

    Kate
  • Could you please advise me,
    do i cut the dead flowers off my Red Hot Pokers after flowering ? then cut down to the base in spring?
    Thanks
  • That would turn what is at present choice of partner into take what's there and interfere with evolution, Dave. The kindest thing would be to turn your back on them, just don't look.
  • Kate,
    Thanks for advice re: housemartins, we have had none this year plus I have only seen four swifts and no swallows upto now. I am doing the rspb swift watch etc.

    My flying insects have increased in numbers, have blogged Richard Jones.

    I have had to rescue large bumblebees, buzzing furiously along my decking, for some reason they were unable to fly. Their wings looked as if they were stuck together.
  • I HAVE JUST HAD 3 SWARMS OF FLYING ANTS COMING OUT OF CUBBY HOLES BY MY BACK DOOR AND GOING FOR IT - I AM IN NORTHAMPTON !!!
  • A large swarm of flying ants in our offices in Barnard Castle this afternoon.
    Sunny and humid with a recent downpour of rain.
  • Flying ants emerging in Grantham, Lincs this afternoon. Downpour last night, hot, humid and still today so seems like perfect conditions. Do they sting? I had loads landing on me as I walked home and made me very nervous!
  • Lots of flying ants in Surrey this evening, and the sky is turning grey. The time has come, fly my children!
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