On Air Now
Heart's Feel Good Weekend with Zoe Hardman 6am - 10am
10 July 2019, 14:44
This is a yearly phenomenon and to be frank, it's absolutely terrifying.
Every summer, there is one day where flying ants will emerge from their nests all over the country - this is called Flying Ant Day.
So what actually causes this to happen and when is it this year? Here's all you need to know about the insect invasion.
Flying Ant Day is when male and female ants grow wings and venture out of their nests on a "nuptial flight", seeking ants from other colonies to mate with.
The Society of Biology state that this is an "important phase in the reproduction of the ant species" as it allows virgin queens to mate with males and then they land to start a new colony.
They will all be males and young queens, whereas the ones you see throughout the year are workers which are all females and are only alive for a month as adults.
Queen ants can live for a whopping 10 years and they will spend the majority of their lives inside the nest, whereas the ones flying about will be young new queens who have to leave the nest to mate and form their own colony.
There is no specific day set for this, it's not like the ants all have calendars, but it typically occurs around July-time.
However if you've noticed a few flying around over the past few weeks, that's completely normal as they tend to build up over a few weeks until one period where millions are out of their nests at the same time.
It's usually when a spell of really wet weather is followed by hot, humid weather.
Flying ants are simply your normal ants, but they grow wings in the summer for reproduction.
The majority of the time, you'll witness the black garden variety, the Lasius niger flying about and they are not dangerous species, although they are annoying.