With reported sightings of these pesky critters in Chester, it seems the infamous 'flying ant day' is upon us.
Except Flying Ant Day is actually a misnomer, because it's not confined to just one day per year.
However, it does tend to peak on one day when millions of them emerge from their nests at once.
These warm and humid conditions we've been experiencing are ideal for the insects.
Although flying ants pose no risk to humans, they can be a bit of a nuisance – especially in large numbers.
Swarms of them have been causing mayhem at Wimbledon, with players Johanna Konta and Aljaz Bedene spotted batting away the bugs.
Here’s everything you need to know about the phenomenon, thanks to our colleagues at the Daily Post.
What is Flying Ant Day and why does it happen?
Weather conditions have to be optimum for it to occur, but National Flying Ant Day is when male and female ants sprout wings and venture out of their nests on a “nuptial flight”, seeking ants from other colonies to mate with. This usually happens in July or August.
According to the Society of Biology, the nuptial flight is an important phase in the reproduction of the ant species. During the flight, virgin queens mate with males and then land to start a new colony.
The journey to alternative colonies ensures the risk of inbreeding is low. Once they have found a suitable nest, the ants release pheromones to attract potential mates.
But don’t worry, they aren’t here for good. Around 24 hours after the nuptial flight the ants lose their wings.
Beware of the seagulls
Those of us close to the coast should be on guard against crazy seagulls during Flying Ant Day. This is because it’s been reported seagulls have been “getting drunk” after feasting on flying ants.
Last year, scores of seagulls were seen congregating in Brighton across roads, caring little for the cars hurtling towards them. They were also spotted stomping the ground in parks hoping to tuck into their favourite snacks.
Dr Rebecca Nesbit, an entomologist with the Society of Biology, told the Mirror that the ants produce formic acid which can “stupefy” the gulls. She said the amount eaten could explain why gulls were not flying away from danger quickly.
How to fend them off
If you’re tired of getting a mouthful of ants, there are some simple ways to get them out of your home or garden.
Boiling water: If you notice an ant hill, you can pour boiling water over it. This will kill most of the ants and deter others from settling in the area.
Washing-up liquid: Soap can be used to remove flying ants, as it gets attached to their bodies and dehydrates them.
Using a spray bottle, mix two large drops of washing-up liquid with water, then use the liquid to spray the ants mid flight.
Catch them with sticky tape: Lure them in with food and place some tape as close as possible with the sticky side up.
Use an artificial sweetener: Certain types of sweeteners are very toxic for ants. If you mix in the sweetener with apple juice, for example, it forms a paste that the ants will carry back to the colony. Once consumed there, it will kill off a portion of their population.
But keep in mind when killing flying ants that they are in fact good for outdoor environments. They aerate soil, help to cycle nutrients, improve garden fertility and control pests.
Flying ants also provide a vital food resource for many species of birds, particularly swifts and gulls.
Have you spotted any flying ants yet? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ChesterChron.