Attack of the flying ants in Finland

We’ve gotten used to living with flying things in Scandinavia; Mosquitos, midges, horse flies, and standard flies. But tonight we experienced the flying ant for the first time – worst night so far!!

After a wonderful night at a beautiful lake last night with no flying insects (this is a rare and joyful experience), tonight we were attacked. We pulled up in an area with moose signs – trying to help our chances of seeing them – started prepping dinner and noticed a few red ants with wings on our roof. There’s something about the colour white that attracts insects I’m sure of it! It was funny as they weren’t bothering us, they don’t bite, and seemed to just want a flat surface to mate on.

Next thing we know, there’s hundreds of them shagging on Pablo! They were meeting one another and then tumbling down the sides of the van, it was like a waterfall of them. We had to close up the van as they were falling in and we didn’t want them laying their eggs inside.

Craig tried pouring water all over the van, a few drowned, lots lived. I became fed up and started smacking them all with the fly swatter; not my best move, ants like to collect the dead, so they called in back up…a few hundred more ants.

We gave up and quickly had dinner while being bitten by midges and mozzies. It just seemed to get worse afterwards so we decided that Craig would drive as fast as he could up the road to get rid of them, then we’d wash up and shove everything inside. While he left me, the ants realised they had nowhere to land so went on everything; me, the table, water canisters etc, I decided to run everything 20m away as there were so many on the floor.

Craig came back with slightly less ants so we threw everything into Pablo and I climbed into a bloody sauna. They were still all over the van, sliding down the windscreen.

Then we drove – 20kmh, 40kmh, 75kmh, and “OK, open the windows!!” “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh” we were covered in sweat and the relief of a cool breeze felt heavenly. We could see the ants flying off in the wing mirrors, oh it felt good. Just a mere 2km up the road we found another place to stay – not a fly in the sky! If there was one place in the world where pigs really could fly, it would be Scandinavia.

On the plus side we had a lovely day hiking the ‘Little Bear Track’ in Oulanka National Park, picking berries and swimming in a beautiful sandy river. Our reindeer count is now up to 95….moose 0, bear 0, flying insects – more than 10x the worlds populations.

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5 comments

  1. Bugs actually are attracted to all that white, just like they would be attracted to an actual light. Perhaps you could cover Pablo in a little mud, just like you might have done as a kid. (I know I did) πŸ™‚

    1. Makes sense…as soon as we pull over it’s like a magnet for flying insects. I’ll tell Craig to lay of keeping her clean, I keep telling him it’s pointless as she’ll just get dirty again…but men like to keep their cars sparkly for some reason!

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