Published: 11:40, 16 July 2014 |
Updated: 13:30, 16 July 2014
If you have found yourself swatting away unwelcome visitors in Kent earlier than expected this year, you can blame it on the weather.
An unusually early appearance of huge numbers of flying ants across the county is down to the warmer than average temperatures, a report has revealed.
A flying ant survey, which has run since 2012, has shown the premature appearance of the annual annoyances is in keeping with rising temperatures.
Since December, temperatures have been warmer than average throughout the country which has led to the earlier-than-usual appearance of the insects.
Lat year, the survey showed peak time for the winged nuisances was August 1, but this year people have been reporting encountering them as early as June.
Flying ant experts have revealed their findings have dispelled the myth of a single flying ant day.
Prof Adam Hart, from the University of Gloucestershire, said: "Last year, we had a flying ant month, and it will be interesting to see whether there is another long flying ant season this year."
Flying ant day is an annual mating ritual, when new queens leave the nest to mate.
While many victims of the plague may not share Prof Hart's enthusiasm, it is worth remembering the important role the insects play.
Dr Rebecca Nesbit, from the Society of Biology, said: "Ants eat pests, pollinate wild berries, spread seeds and improve soil fertility. It is amazing how many roles these tiny insects play in the health of our countryside."
Dr Nesbit is urging people who spot the ants to report the time, date and location at www.societyofbiology.org/flyingantsurvey.
Have you seen an invasion of flying ants in Kent? Leave a comment below.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Find out what's going on in the garden, with Kent expert Lucy Hewett's weekly update.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.