Swinton Insurance

July 09, 2009 06:53 ET

'Flant Day' Is Coming Warns Swinton

Drivers, bikers and cyclists warned to take care with ants due to swarm over the next few weeks

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - July 9, 2009) -

Editor's Note: There is one photo associated with this press release.

Swinton Insurance, the UK's leading high street insurance retailer, is warning all road users that 'flying ant' day will soon be upon us.

Also known as 'Flant Day', it occurs when a specific combination of temperature, humidity and wind-speed triggers the UK's common black garden ant - known as Lasius Nige - to emerge from their nests and take to the skies.

The exodus is sparked by queen ants undertaking an annual nuptial flight accompanied by hundreds of thousands of male suitors. The result is billions of winged insects suddenly filling the air before returning to earth after the queens have mated in mid-flight. Female ants actually lose their wings during their flight and drop to the ground to try and start a new colony. In contrast the male ants land en masse and simply begin to die slowly.

Flying ant day occurs at different times across the country due to varying local climatic conditions and there have been some reports of sporadic outbreaks already this summer due to the extremely hot and wet weather.

However much of the country has yet to experience the phenomenon of airborne ants and Swinton is warning all road users to be on the guard over the next two weeks due to the chaos they can bring.

For example drivers with windows opened, or with convertible roofs down, are easily distracted by ants landing and crawling over them. Motorcyclists are susceptible to increased insect smears on their visors, and a cyclist's concentration can be severely disrupted by ants flying into their eyes, mouth, ears and nose.

Swinton car insurance spokesperson, Steve Chelton said:

"Many road users being distracted simultaneously increases the risk of accidents and Swinton has seen a number of car insurance claims over the last ten years that cite flying ants as a contributing factor to the accident."

"People trying to swot them while driving reduces their control of the vehicle and motorbike helmets obviously don't have windscreen wipers to quickly remove insect smears. Cyclists are particularly vulnerable as the ants can get everywhere including the eyes, mouth and nose."

To help reduce the threat of accidents during flying ant's day Swinton has issued the following advice to road users:

Drivers

Wind up windows, raise roofs on convertibles and ensure windscreen cleaning fluid is topped up

Motorbikes

Reduce speed, carry cleaning wipes and stop to clean visor regularly

Cyclists

Wear suitable sports glasses (clear or dark lenses dependent on conditions) and wear a paper face-mask. If no mask available, try and breathe through the nose and keep the mouth closed as much as possible.

About Swinton

- With 580 branches nationwide Swinton is the UK's largest high street insurance retailer

- Unlike many other companies in the financial services industry, Swinton is committed to keeping its branches open for business, and part of the community

- Swinton provides a one-stop-shop for the insurance and related needs of its clients, offering home, car, caravan, business, holiday, motorbike and even classic car insurance

- With a dedicated team of advisors on hand at every branch to search a panel of insurers to offer quality cover at competitive rates

To view the photo associated with this press release, please view the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20090709-bee800.jpg

Contact Information

  • Manchester PR agency SKV Communications
    Michael Travers
    0161 838 7770
    or
    Manchester PR agency SKV Communications
    Anoushka Foster
    0161 838 7770