Flying Ant Day: South West hit by swarms of airborne bugs in yearly ritual – updates

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The southwest sees once again swarms of flying ants populating the region as the annual tradition of Flying Ant Day returns.

During the annual ritual, the clouds of swarming creatures soar over the land, often accompanied by large numbers of birds that come to feast on them.

Residents in Bristol and Gloucestershire saw a new wave of them over the area today (July 13).

The pattern of when the migration occurred in recent years resulted in people being on alert for the creatures’ descent for a number of days and weeks, with mid-July and late June being the last dates they came .

Although it is commonly known as “Flying Ant Day”, the phenomenon hits at different times in different parts of the country and usually takes place over several days.

Flying Ant Day occurs when a young queen leaves the nest to find her own colony.

The swarms consist of queen and male flying ants.

The queens mate with the strongest males in flight before landing and establishing their own colonies in a new location.

Though it’s called Flying Ant Day, it usually takes place over several days before culminating in a date when people notice hundreds and thousands of swarms at once.

Keep up with the latest from the Southwest on our live blog below.