Grossest day of the year: Flying ant day is here – again and again and again

Written by on September 6, 2014 in Critters vs Humans vs Critters - No comments

I dread this day every summer. A hot, sunny day at the tail end of the season when, like clockwork, the sky is filled with seagulls and the lawn erupts with creepy crawly winged ants. (In Calgary, Alberta it tends to come at the end of August, but in warmer climates it usually occurs in July.)

Flying ant day or nuptial flight is when virgin Queen winged ants mate with males. They do it mid-flight.


This day of horror  occurred this afternoon, Sept. 6, which struck me as odd, since I recall this very thing happening  a few weeks ago.

The worst day of the year … again. Is this Groundhog Day?

Well, a new study confirms that flying ant day isn’t just a once-a-year gross-out. It can take place multiple times a year.

Professor Adam Hart at the University of Gloucestershire, who surveys the phenomenon, crunched the data over the past two years and found more complex swarming patterns.

‘The good weather seems to be causing multiple flights with much less synchrony than we saw in 2012,” Prof Hart noted. “So far the idea of a flying ant day is very much a myth. Last year we had a flying ant month.”

Now, do you best and try not to scratch. And, bring on the snow.


Photos Dawn Walton/CritterFiles

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Recovering newspaper reporter.

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