When is Flying Ant Day in 2021? Date when the UK is likely to see swarms of flying ants and how long they live for
The month of July has brought most of the UK scorching sunshine, days by the beach and barbecues in the garden.
Due to the climate experienced throughout July and August, flying ants tend to breed more and set up new colonies. This hasn’t gone unnoticed and the UK now acknowledges Flying Ant Day.
So, what is Flying Ant Day and when does it take place this year? This is what you need to know.
What is Flying Ant Day?
Flying Ant day is the day when most new colonies of flying ants begin to reproduce and hundreds or thousands of the insects are spotted in homes and gardens across the UK.
The day is not the same each year, but takes place when young queen flying ant leave the nest to make their own colonies.
They will be followed by many young male and and the strongest males will breed with the female while they are in flight.
When the queen and her colony land, they reproduce and hundreds of other ants.
When is Flying Ant Day this year?
There is no one day which is annually considered as Flying Ant Day.
The young queens are likely to leave their nests and make new colonies across several days in the height of summer, culminating in hundreds and thousands of tiny flying ants in our gardens.
Last year the day took place on 12 July, and many swarms were reported on 12 July again this year. However, the continued heat means we might not have seen the back of them yet.
Professor Adam Hart at the University of Gloucestershire said: "The really busy time seems to be around the third week of July, but it really depends on the weather.
"Sometimes we see the first wave around Wimbledon and if the weather holds we can see an emergence throughout August."
How long do flying ants live for?
Once the male ants have repopulated during the flying stage, they serve no other purpose and therefore will die within a couple of days.
This could be why you see hundreds of little ants dead on your garden path, or on your car.
As for the females, they can continue to breed for several years and some are alive for over a decade but only appear in large numbers during the summer months.
Flying ants only spend a small amount of time as winged, flying insects.
How to get rid of flying ants
Flying ants are largely harmless but you can get rid of them if they are an annoyance or spreading in your home or flower beds.
There are benefits to the ants, as they aerate soil, help to recycle nutrients, improve garden fertility and control pests.
However, you can get rid of them by laying ant powder along the outside of your windows, spraying them with a diluted mixture of water and washing up detergent, or sucking them up the vacuum cleaner and then immediately emptying them into a bin.