An ant-infested school canteen has been closed to primary pupils.
A professional pest control team has been called in to deal with the army of ants at Rosebank Primary School in Nairn.
Highland Council confirmed hot meals had to be eaten in the classrooms on Monday with rounds of sandwiches served today (Tuesday).
A spokeswoman said: “Earlier this week, the canteen at Rosebank Primary School closed because of a problem with ants. Pest control is attending the school today and the canteen will open as normal from tomorrow.”
Highland pest controller Ian Street, whose Carrbridge-based firm Infinity Pest Solutions, covers the north, says infestations of common black ants, also known as the garden ant, are commonly dealt with in the summer.
Lured by a sweet tooth, he says the best form of control is to remove their reason for being there.
He says: “They are particularly attracted to sweet substances, so food or drink spillage should be cleaned away as soon as possible and any stored food in air tight containers.”
‘Foraging workers are a nuisance’
Mr Street says once any attractant has been cleared away, he normally would use a gel-based formulation, put down safely in the affected areas, which the ant workers will at first take back to the nest for the queen to feed from, and then consume themselves, eradicating the whole nest.
He adds: “After the above has all been performed, the last step is to seal off any possible ingress points to minimise the risk of return.
“Foraging workers are a nuisance, but not normally a health risk, although in saying that, when they get into a kitchen area in large numbers they can be a risk to food stuffs by way of cross contamination, and they also do not go down well if found in a someone’s food, possibly damaging a company’s reputation.”