Flying ants are invading homes in Britain with the bugs causing nuisance from Sheffield to Briston and affected Britons have taken to social media to share the pictures of the swarms of relentless insects.

It is also the kind of phenomenon that affects ordinary people and celebrities alike with known personalities also sharing their encounter with the pests.

"Spent the afternoon in Totteridge, North London," said TV star Eamonn Holmes. "Was anywhere else besieged by Flying Ants? Millions of them!"

Flying ants are actually the sexually mature form of the common black ant. The swarms of flying ants in the region has something to do with the queen ants of colonies looking for a male to mate with and start a new colony, a phenomenon that has been dubbed as "Flying Ant Day."

The occurrence is often associated with warm and summer temperatures because just like humans, the balmy weather can set the ants in the mood. The warm weather should also come with no chance of rain so the winged ants can emerge from their underground nests. Global warming appears to have affected this phenomenon causing ant days to occur earlier and earlier in the year.

"They often emerge simultaneously over large parts of the country, and many people know this as 'flying ant day', but we wanted to find out whether there really is one single day," said Adam Hart, from the University of Gloucestershire. "It could be that this weather kept some flying ants in their nests waiting for a suitable day, in which case we may not see the double peak again this year."

It was once thought that the ants can only fly for 24 hours but the Royal Society of Biology has found that the bugs can fly for as long as one month. It now urges people to provide information on these insects by reporting sightings of the ants using the hashtag #flyingantsurvey.

Entomologist Rebecca Nesbit, from the Society of Biology said that the Society received more than 6,000 reports last year on their first flying ant survey and they are now striving to beat last year's records. She urged people to keep sending records.

People have become so annoyed with the infestation that one man has taken to burning the insects alive. Wildlife experts however urged people not to harm the ants because they get rid of garden pests by eating them.

Photo: Patrick_K59 | Flickr

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