Creatures that swarm appear to know when the weather is about to change as they time their swarms on a warm day prior to rain setting in. In England, there are two main species of ants – the Black Lawn Ant and the Common Red Ant. Black Lawn Ants tend to be the ones that make their nests close to houses, gardens, people, etc. Fortunately, they are harmless and considered a nuisance more than anything else. Both of these species are sometimes called ‘dairy’ ants as they milk aphids.
We have two compost heaps in our garden. One is in a black compost bin and you can imagine my surprise as a surge of ants burst through one of the breathing holes of the bin … it appears that they have nested in the sweltering heat of the compost!
Black Lawn Ants, swarming
Other ants that may be seen are Yellow Hill Ants found mostly on hilly and chalky areas; Wood Ants found mostly in very dry pine woods where it will spew a formic acid vapour to protect its nest; Pharaoh’s Ants, very small and occasionally found in centrally heated buildings.