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Flying ants infestation: Why do flying ants appear, and why do we get them?

Many Brits will have seen flying ants making an appearance in recent weeks. Many a garden picnic or barbecue has been spoiled by the winged creatures, but rest assured they only appear for short periods of time. Here’s why flying ants make an appearance every year in the UK.

What are flying ants?

Flying ants are known as alates, and they can be up to 15mm long with the queen ants being larger.

Although they can be irritating, flying ants are actually harmless and can help the environment by aerating soil.

Flying ants also act as a food source for birds such as seagulls. 

While looking for a mate ants stick together to provide safety in numbers from predators.

In fact, there can be so many of them that weather radar often mistakes the swarms for raindrops.

After mating a male flying ant dies, and the queen ants will go off to try and start their own nests. 

At this point female flying ants lose their wings as they chew them off after mating.

Flying ants can pop up in different areas of the UK throughout June to September. 

These swarms of flying ants only last for a couple of days, and usually occur earlier in urban areas rather than rural areas.

This is due to the urban heat island effect associated with the warmer climates of urban settings.

Flying ants will usually disappear on their own, but if you find yourself with an infestation in your home there are products and tips online which can help to get rid of them.

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