What is Flying Ant Day? How to get rid of flying ants after millions descended on Sheffield

Flying ants
Flying ants
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Millions of flying ants descended on Sheffield yesterday - but there IS something you can do to battle them.

Are you confused about why so many hundreds of the critters have been making your life difficult today? Want to get rid of them for good? Here's how:

National Flying Ant Day is when male and female ants sprout wings and venture out of their nests on a what is known as a 'nuptial flight', i.e. the critters are seeking ants from other colonies to mate with.

The Queen ants mate with male ants, then drop to the ground and begin a new colony. So each flying ant you see in the wild is potentially an entire new colony.

No wonder there are so many around!

Queens can live for over 10 years and spend most of their lives in their nest. But new queens will leave to mate and found a colony of their own.

How to get rid of them

1. Washing up liquid

Ants can't stand washing up liquid because it attaches to their bodies and dehydrates them.

Mix a little with water, put into a spray bottle and squirt it into their direction. A non-lethal deterrent.

2. Get any powder and place it around doors and windows

Ant killing powders work on a slow-release basis. Instead of killing ants instantly, the insects take the powder (which they find delicious) back to their nest and share it.

A day later, every ant dies when the poison takes effect. Ruthless. Putting a little around your doorways and windows will keep your house ant-free.

3. Use artificial sweetener

Mixing artificial sweetener with apple juice makes a thick paste that’s toxic for ants.

Luring them in with the mixture will result in them carrying it back to the colony, other ants eating it, and a portion of the population being killed off.