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.

Why do flying ants appear?

Flying ants appear when young queen ants leave their nests to found their own colonies. 

These flying ants will mate with male ants from other colonies, and the process of leaving the nest to find a mate is known as the “nuptial flight”.

In certain areas all ants will leave their nests at the same time, causing swarms of the creatures at one time.


While looking for a mate ants stick together to provide safety in numbers, and there can be so many of them that weather radar often mistakes the swarms for raindrops.

These swarms of flying ants only last for a couple of days usually.

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.

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