This is when ant princesses and male ants, known as drones, leave their nests en masse on a nuptial flight looking to mate with ants from other colonies.
Some of you may have seen some ants flying around already – but if so, you haven’t seen anything yet.
Although the phenomenon is called Flying Ant Day, it doesn’t just happen on one day. Each year, the flying ant period lasts a few weeks with several peak days and often builds up to one specific day when millions of ants leave their nests at the same time. This is triggered by warm temperatures and often after summer rain.
After meeting their Prince Charming, the princesses tear off their wings and start a new colony – under paving stones, in tree stumps and in the soil. Here, they will live the rest of their lives, which can often be more than two decades.
However, after mating not all princesses survive. Many fall prey to predators such as birds and other insects, starve or are victims of environmental hazards. And what of the drones? You may well ask. Once their work is done, those frisky males die soon after.
So brace yourself. The invasion usually takes place around the end of July, but is getting earlier and earlier due to Global Warming.
Meanwhile if you are looking for a fun summer read for the kids in your life, look no further than my fantasy alternative look at life in an ant colony. ANTics is full of humour from start to finish, a great book for kids of all ages.