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Huge Swarms Of Flying Ants Descend On UK

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Huge Swarms Of Flying Ants Descend On UK

Swarms of flying ants have descended on the UK, with some areas being bombarded by so many over the weekend that they appeared on the Met Office's rainfall radar.

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The Liverpool Echo reports how one woman, based in Ellesmere Port in Cheshire, said her children 'all started screaming' at the sight of the flying ants when they 'appeared all of a sudden'.

Another woman from the same area also said her family had to 'run in and take cover', while a third added that the insects had 'swarmed her garden'.

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And it wasn't just up north, either, with 'flying ants' trending on Twitter as others across the UK shared their own experiences during the phenomenon known as Flying Ant Day.

One person tweeted: "Wait so everyone in London is dealing with #FlyingAnts??? F***ing hell I thought I had gone mad this morning."

Another wrote: "So today I learnt the UK has a thing called flying ant day. Massive amounts of ants erupting from my geraniums was an alarming way to discover this."

Credit: Flickr/Matt MacGillivray
Credit: Flickr/Matt MacGillivray
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Another Twitter user added: "So glad #flyingants is trending because I've been moaning about them all day. Good to know I'm not alone. Horrid little f***ers."

A fourth also joked: "Usually hate Flying Ant Day but actually nice to see a planned event going ahead in 2020 tbh."

Every summer, huge numbers of flying ants suddenly appear in UK skies, as young queens leave their nests to found their own colonies.

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According to the Society of Biology, during this nuptial flight a young queen will mate with males, before landing to start a new colony.

Credit: Flickr/Martyn Fletcher
Credit: Flickr/Martyn Fletcher

The SoB said: "The flying ants you encounter in your town or garden are almost certainly the black garden ant (scientific name: Lasius niger). Their nests have a single queen and typically around 5,000 workers, although there can be as many as 15,000.

"The ants you see throughout most of the year are workers, collecting food for the colony. Workers are all female and will be alive as adults for about a month. The flying ants you see once a year are males and young queens.

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"Each year, normally in July or August, huge numbers of flying ants suddenly appear. Queens can live for over 10 years and spend most of their lives in their nest. New queens, however, will leave to mate and found a colony of their own. This 'nuptial flight' is why ants fly."

It added: "Once the males and immature queens have mated, the queens then try to start a new nest. The queens lose their wings, and after a 'flying ant day' you can sometimes see large ants walking around on their own. These are new queens looking for somewhere to set up their nest."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, News, Animals, Insects

Jess Hardiman
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