Is today National Flying Ant Day? For a nuptial flight, winged insects take to the sky of the United Kingdom.
Swarms of flying ants have already been seen on UK weather radar this month, but experts warn that more sightings of the winged insects are likely in the coming days.
The UK is experiencing a scorching heatwave, with the hottest day of the year so far occurring this past weekend. People who went outside to enjoy the sunshine may have come across swarms of flying ants as part of a phenomenon known as Flying Ant Day. Winged ants leave their nests on this day to go on a ‘nuptial flight’ in search of a spouse before settling down to start new ant colonies.
Despite its name, Flying Ant Day does not occur on the same day every year.
During the summer, different parts of the country may experience the phenomenon at different periods.
Earlier this month, flying ants were observed on Met Office weather radar over London.
“Our radar is picking up more than just #rain this morning — it’s actually insects!” the Met Office tweeted on July 9.
“There are a few rain showers, but most of the echoes are insects.”
As the hot weather fell on Britain this weekend, more locations reported encounters with flying ants, and many people took to social media to share their stories.
“You know it’s hot when the flying ants arrive out of nowhere,” one Twitter user said.
“Flying ants will be attacking the UK today,” one Twitter user said. “Wait a minute, people!”
While many people have observed the winged insects this weekend, experts advise that they be left alone because their procedure is beneficial to the ecosystem.
“They can be bothersome, but ants are environmentally essential,” said Aidan O’Hanlon, an environmental science specialist on RSVP Live.
“Through their nesting behavior, they offer aeration in the soil, as well as serving as a bountiful food source for birds, spiders, wasps, and other insects throughout the summer when the ants swarm in large numbers.”
More locations are expected to see ants emerge from their nests in the following days, according to experts.
“As the days become warmer and humid, and there is little to no wind, ants (will) emerge from their underground homes and take to the air for their nuptial flight,” a representative for the University of Leeds told the Mirror.
“They form big bunches that can be observed on weather radar equipment.
“Towards the end.” Brinkwire Summary News.”