Sigh! Here we go again! More Lasius niger escapes. I have said it many times in the past, and I am saying it again. Those Lasius niger have to be the naughtiest ant species I have ever experienced. I could have 100 different species in their respective ant farms, and I can almost guarantee that the only ones that will manage to escape would be Lasius niger.
What’s wrong, Myrm? Another escape?
Yes, another escape. I was conducting my daily checks on my three ant farms when I noticed a small Lasius niger worker running about on the worktop where the ant farms are located. Then I saw another … and another … and another! Then I saw about twelve of them. These ants are naughtier than Australian BLs!
I managed to get them all back into the ant farm. I then reapplied the insect repellent escape barrier, as I hadn’t done so for a while, and, of course, the ants were able to get out. My fault really. The last time I put some on I had very little of the cream left, and I did intend to order some more. But I forgot. Fortunately, I had enough left to apply a thin layer of the barrier. Now I have to get some more, and pretty quickly too. With all the hot weather we have been having lately, the barrier was able to dry out a lot quicker. This resulted in Lasius niger escapes. Always ensure you re-apply any liquid barriers that you use, especially during long periods of hot weather.
At long last they have fully moved into their new nesting box. Though most, including the queen, had moved into the new nesting box, there were 20 or 30 workers who stubbornly refused to move out of the old box.
Therefore, today, I decided to encourage them to move out. I emptied the entire contents of the old nesting box onto the floor. Then I carefully sifted through the soil, picking up every ant I saw, and placed her into the new nesting box. Though I was certain the queen was in the new nesting box, I did make a meticulous search for her amongst the soil of the old box. It soon became apparent she was not there. I haven’t actually seen her in the new box, but in one of the chambers I see a fresh batch of eggs.
These ants have certainly enjoyed the hot weather recently. They have been more active than I have ever seen them before. The number of brood present is very large, and there have been winged males scurrying about too.
There have been a number of deaths over the past few days, but I am guessing this is down to old age, as all the ants are dark red (the get darker as they age). Ants are born in batches, and so they generally die of old age in batches.
Sometimes these ants manage to get out, as do the Lasius umbratus, but nowhere near as often as my Lasius niger escapes.
Like I said, always re-apply your insect repellent barrier if used.