When is Flying Ant Day 2022 in the UK? What is it?

Every summer, usually in July or August, you can suddenly see flying ants appearing all over the UK.

This phenomenon is known as Flying Ant Day – although it’s confusing because it doesn’t actually take place on any particular day of the year.

The dates change – and it usually isn’t just one day.

At some point in the summer we know we’ll be seeing giant swarms of winged insects in the UK.

Not much has been said about them so far – but since swarms of these insects are common this year, let’s take a look at the phenomenon and when it’s likely to happen.

What is Flying Ant Day?

Flying Ant Day is scientifically referred to as nuptial flight, the phenomenon where virgin queens mate with males before starting new colonies.

For humans, this basically means a large number of ants sniffing around.

The natural event has been described as “early Christmas” for seagulls, who love to feast on the insects.

Though it was called “Flying Ant Day,” a project by the Royal Society of Biology found that the widely held idea is actually a misconception.

The Natural History Museum said the winged ants appear in the country at different times and local weather conditions are critical to coordinating swarm activity.

They found instead of a single day, it is more of a season.

Swarming is caused by the weather and tends to happen in July or August.

The study found that ants only flew on days when it was warm.

The Natural History Museum said the winged ants appear in the country at different times and local weather conditions are critical to coordinating swarm activity.

The interesting life of a flying ant

Before swarming or nuptial flights, ants in a colony live in a nest and each has a specific job.

The queen lays the eggs while female workers care for the queen, eggs and larvae.

They collect food, make their nest bigger and generally make sure the colony goes according to plan.

Most eggs hatch into worker ants, but when the colony is complete, the queen begins to produce virgin queens and males.

When the winged males and virgin queens come out of the nest, they disperse to maximize the chances of mating between different colonies.

Once ants have mated, the males’ role is over.

The mated queens quickly chew off their own wings and look for a suitable place to nest and set up a new colony.

That’s why you often see large ants walking around after a ‘flying ant day’ and you may even see discarded wings scattered on sidewalks.

This usually happens at the end of July.

Why do ants get wings?

A new ant queen must leave the colony where she was born to start a new one. She also needs to mate. So she leaves her nest with some flying male worker ants.

According to the Royal Society of Biology, the large numbers of flying ants that appear in a short period of time increase the chances of reproduction because the chances of a queen encountering a male from another nest are very high.

Then, to check if he’s worth it. she flies away from him and performs acrobatics to test his abilities to catch her.

When he does, they mate in mid-air. This kills the male ant.

The queen then lands to establish a new colony somewhere. She loses her wings after just one day.

What you should do

Pest Control Rentokil recommends keeping doors and windows closed when the ants are circulating in particularly large numbers, or using screens and curtains to keep them out when the weather is really too hot to keep the house closed.

And their arrival is short-lived, so after a few days you should notice that any significant populations you’ve seen will start to disappear.

But if you find a few near your home, you may want to discourage the potential for new visitors.

Experts say that a few weeks before the ants emerge, large unexplained mounds of soil can appear on the grass above nests, and this can sometimes be the first sign that new creatures are about to appear.

Disrupting any nests or anthills you find in your yard can be the best place to start to reduce the risk of them coming in in large swarms.

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