Have you been caught up in a swarm of flying ants this summer? And is there really a special ‘flying ant day’? Read on to discover more…

1. Flying ants are just normal ants – with wings!

The ants we’re most used to seeing are female black garden ants, marching around collecting food. But during summer, winged males and new queens of the same species take flight! 

2. They fly to set up new ant colonies

The ants take to the skies so that queens can mate with males from different colonies, and set up new nests of their own. 

3. Flying ants only swarm during hot summer weather

For a swarm of ants to occur, conditions must be just right – they’re usually triggered by hot and humid weather in July or August. 

4. ‘Flying ant day’ is a myth

Because so many ants appear in the same place at the same time, the phenomenon is often known as ‘flying ant day’ – but it’s really more of a short flying ant season. Depending on weather, the winged insects may appear in different parts of the country any time between June and September. 

5. There’s safety in numbers

The reason the ants appear in such big numbers is that it helps protects them from predators. Flying all together all at once also gives them a much better chance of finding mates.

6. They’re harmless

These flying beasties might be super annoying, but they won’t hurt you. Plus they provide loads of extra food for hungry birds!

7. Tennis stars hate them!

In 2018, flying ants invaded the court at Wimbledon, distracting tennis players and making news headlines around the world!

8. Female flying ants are bigger than males

Brave enough to take a closer look? You’ll see that some of the winged ants are much larger than others. The bigger ones are the queens – they’re up to 15mm in length.

9. Queens bite their own wings off!

After mating, queens chew off their wings and crawl around looking for a place to dig a new nest. Look out for their discarded wings on the floor!

10. Flying ants are also called alates 

Alates is the name given to the winged form of many insects.

Fascinated by insects? Download our FREE insect safari primary resource and go on a bug adventure in your own garden!

Want to know more?

Ants are one of the world’s strongest creatures! Head to our amazing ant facts for the lowdown!

Plus, check out our cool bug facts, and discover why ladybirds ooze yellow goo from their legs!

Picture credit: GettyImages-464197765 

Have you seen any flying ants this summer? Leave a comment below!




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  • charlotte

    I loved all of your facts!

  • Billy

    Wow i want to learn more about it

  • Rohan

    Saw a few today in the Western Cape, South Africa. Very hot today in Cape Town.

  • Larry

    We saw a few winged ants today in Albuquerque. 8/24/2021

  • Rab

    Thousands climbing up my window

  • Bob Cox

    Yesterday 23 Aug. The whole of my grass was shimmering with ant wings they slowly took off and headed West

  • John

    The ants (Flying)are out now from under the patio. hundreds of them.

  • Myra123456

    the winged ants seem to climb to the top of the grass to get height to take off and sometimes have to try and try again before suceeding Getting their wings takes some energy I suspect.

  • logan


  • logan

  • awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

  • clumbsea10

  • clumbsea10

  • Jane Whiteley

    Jane Whiteley I live in Shipley and have today found a small swarm of flying ants on my lawn and steps.

  • Lucas

    flying ants are all over my house!!!

  • isla excell

    cant wait

  • Thomas

    Flying ants inside my closed in porch not very nice!

  • Kim daley

    Porch full of flying ants.... They won't go

  • James

  • James

  • James

  • Florence

    Wow I didn't know that the queen bit her wings off

  • Khalid

    Hi I like

  • Meloha

    I found one yesterday and looked it up on the internet. There was a lot of information online. I also didn't know that winged ants are just males (the ones we see crawling are females) that are searching for a mate or a place to put a new colony! Like other kids said: Cool!! ; )

  • Carol Myler

    They have invaded one high corner of my screened porch.

  • wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow!

  • Joumana

    Yes I’ve just seen them in my garden hovering over their nests in a group. It’s not June yet the time when we normally start seeing them. It’s now the end of March 2021. This’s the first time I’ve seen flying ants here in California.

  • hi

  • heo


  • Becky

    Do they crawl out of the sink drain? These aren’t flying.

  • benjamin9996


  • cool


  • Morrisyn


  • Morrisyn


  • Kerrington

  • Ishaan


  • Maaz

    I've seen a flying ant

  • Dick Wolfe

    Not yet but we have a pool and they just take over and these bite they form piles the one on the bottom are dead and the live ones get on top during the night

  • Mella

    Wow awesome

  • chrisy

    nice lol

  • Wow!

  • Damiya


  • hakin gamer


  • hakin gamer

    i just told my sister she is amazed

  • E




  • Yay I know they weren’t trying to eat me!

  • Champione


  • ok

  • Arthur


  • splendid_lemon

    This helped, thanks

  • cool


  • amasing

  • luna_luvgood


  • Mylez

    Clouds of them inmaitsi region of tasman out of control currently taking over local golf course regards Mylrz

  • edwin yang


  • TheTrueGamer900


  • mike

    i lite turtules

  • kyreestar2012

    this is fun

  • Abdullah

    I love it

  • christopher saueda

    no i have not sen flying ants

  • bruuuuuuuuuuuuuh

  • Yes last night in Benoni. A frog had a feast. Good to watch.

  • nya

    i like animals

  • i know werid for the tennis people angry crazy ants

  • zayan

    cool i did not know that its werid the ants invaded the tennis corse and made them angry why woud they do that

  • chloe

    I like these facts.

  • Venika

  • nice

  • Tamara

    This is a very good website

  • This website is interesting

    I was very surprised

  • Ee


  • Danielle

    Sunday morning 17 January 2021 at sunrise the walls of my house are black of flying ants. Can't walk outside. Here are usually many ants on the ground during the days.

  • logan


  • logan


  • wow

  • Kitty-Cato12

  • Eva


  • Eva

    Why do Queen ants chew off their wings?

  • tomas

    me encantan los animales.

  • swiftywind2000

  • I did not know all that.

  • I love animals

  • Harry O

    I saw thousands of flying ants this summer at my farm. When flying ants tear off their wings they do not grow back.

  • cool

  • salahudeen


  • connor

    That was fascinating

  • Ellen


  • Abby

  • Lion


  • mamadousow

    awsome cant what to learn moreeeeee

  • mamadousow

  • ive seen a swarm of alates in summer!

  • Bongi

    They are invading my house and digging up piles of whatever matter from under my floor, everywhere. Not sure what to do. I'm worried about my floor!

  • Jo

    Just arrived in central Queensland around 6.30pm after the rain

  • Cherry Stoltz

    RIght now, I'm on vacation in South Africa in the sub-tropical area of the Eastern lowlands, surrounded by gorgeous mountains. Last night, kit was hot and humid, with soft rain. Thousands of flying ants were attracted to the security light outside my bedroom window. The window was slightly open and the queen must have flown inside, followed by an army of little aviators. I am legally blind so had no idea what was sharing the bed with me, and flying uinto my hair. I woke up and saw wings all around me. Eventually, I realised they were not suicidal moths, so I took my bedding into the living room and slept on the sofa. The light of day showed literally thousands of wings, plus dead or dying corpses. Fascinated, I did a Google search to find out what flying ants are and what happens to them after swarming. No one here could tell me, so the owners at the lodge were very interested and astounded. Most people think they are a separate species from normal ground ants. Thank you for enlightening us. Unfortunately, all the flying ants in my room didn't make it ...

  • Thabo Thulo

    These flying ants invaded my yard and some landed in large ice cream container I use to plant spinach seedlings. The surface of the soil in the container is full of their holes and I have just planted seeds. Will the ants eat the seeds. Should start all over again.

  • 413640


  • Zander

    Let's take action YA

  • kenny

  • wonderwolf

    cool cant wait

  • Aarna bhui

  • sophia


  • cool crafts

    so cooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool.

  • yay



  • Fred


  • John

    Last week (November 19, 2020) flying ants were spoted in Malta Europe. Is that common?

  • Jorri

  • Rabiya

    Super , Cool , Wow , Can't wait

  • Awesome

    Loved it! Helped me learn

  • Freya

  • Rebekah

    Thanks to my father who shared with me about this web site, this web site is truly remarkable.

  • amy uincorn

    so cool!

  • Noor


  • amy

    so cool

  • amy


  • chali

    love it

  • fgjyhtfjfthyt

  • CROW


  • sup

  • that's good facts

  • Ayawna gooch


  • mshaver 23


  • Kasey-lee

    I wish I could now what they eat but it was still amazing.

  • wow

  • Ewert

    November 1st Just found seven flying ants in our house, possibly looking for a place to stay.

  • queen flying ants bite their wings off

  • cierra


  • PhoneeGamer


  • Austin

    I got attacked by a flying ant

  • George

    Cool It is awesome

  • Ahaan tulshan

    In colcata while w it is puja time they are forming it is iratateing

  • oof

    hello im wolfie

  • hasan

    i liked it

  • Lorcan

  • col


  • i never knew ants could fly

  • vibhamenakath

  • 09shark boy

  • 09shark boy

  • 09shak boy

  • Aiden

  • 09shark boy

  • layla


  • fishy on me FORTNITE

    Good to know

  • Izzy!

    not really a fan of insects but it is ok !

  • lol

  • They're everywhere at Wentworth Falls now

  • Patrick

  • Lorcan

  • Lorcan wannaj

  • Etinosa


  • Jaylen

  • Jaylen

    I love it.

  • Jaylen


  • giraffe,dear,

  • Shirley

    In my bedroom Windows

  • haki

    i love it

  • hannah.tod

    cool https://www.natgeokids.com/wp-content/themes/natgeokids/images/badges/2.png

  • Calm-queen

    I haven't seen any flying ants this year. Maybe I'll see some next year.

  • green head

    I've seen ants with wings once before!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Interested i

    I have had them come into my kitchen they seem to come through a wall ventilator, I have to spray them if I am wearing white they com on.me,does light attract them?

  • I never knew that!

  • Vee

    Sorry, I will have to dispute fact #6. I have been bitten a few times by flying ants.

  • hiu;wgy

    hehe hi guys i liked this one so fa because it was different than the others c:

  • hi

  • kevin zelaya


  • renae

    omg soo intresting i never new the existed before i saw this its so heplful for my work

  • Zoey

    cool,LoL, wow, can't wait ,let's take action, I'm telling us knowledge all to my friends,

  • Donna Hemingway

    What do their young look like

  • elephant boy

  • Faye

  • Faye

  • deez


  • Olivia Tiffen

    In Australia September 14 northern rivers near caberita beach swarmed my car then me . They feel and look like fleas . Hope never go see them or feel them again. 2020

  • cool

  • wow

  • Jack

    this is not nice

  • Zeak

    huge swarms in my backyard now. September 9th 2020

  • saifan

    there so annoying i have to hoover thm up they came back and its now september can someone tell me how to get rid of them

  • Joe

    We saw flying ants today & they were amazing!

  • O_OBryan

    i will share my knowledge

  • It is too good

  • AntsSoutheast

    Hello, I am a kid and I keep ants. I usually catch the ones on the floor.

  • Sandy

    Yes !!!! We actually had a swarm on our house and they came inside our bathroom area. Still trying to rid our bathroom of them !!! It’s really hard !!!

  • Mary

    I saw them in my garden 9/2/2020

  • Hunter

  • wow

  • cheekymonkey

    great stuff

  • Aadya Kumar


  • ahs_dmrgarcia


  • Jim Coley

    I'm in northwest Houston, TX and we usually see flying ants during the summer after a heavy rain.

  • Leo

  • Yes


  • time


  • LOL!I didn't know that they annoyed Tennis stars! Or that queens chew their wings off!

  • Rayan


  • Rayan


  • Rayan


  • Rayan


  • Athena

    this taught me a lot, I am totally going to tell my friends!

  • Yashfeen shaikh

  • stinkyzoomer

    Wow that was pretty cool!

  • minecraftpro_5703

    me and my dad were just on our trampoline and there were swarms of flying ants every were and when we got off we saw two swarms making nests and we saw some flying ants raiding a normal ant hill

  • fofo

    can u guys put hamsters facts i love em

  • Dave

    Flying ants at 6.10 pm timmins Ontario coming out of the Ground

  • I didnt kno wthat

  • Mia

    This year I saw a lot of ants some flying ants and some normal ants

  • Megamonkey725

    Wow, I didn't know that. I agree with Supersparrow67.

  • Hakim Ali

  • Supersparrow67

    I'm telling this knowledge to all my friends

  • Cool

  • Jiaxu


  • Orangutan Redhead

    I've seen a swarm of flying ants in town recently!

  • Beverly

    We discovered thousands around our patio

  • Denice Corbett

    I live in the Sperrin mountains in Northern Ireland and we have millions of these ants at the moment

  • LOL

    So exited!

  • potatoes4life

    flying ants!

  • that is so awesome

  • cool!!!!!

  • Jim L

    Just found numerous flying ants in the kitchen. Vacuumed up the ants and used ant spray on the floor and around the kitchen window.

  • Norma Golightly

    I had an infestation of flying ants in my bathroom which lasted for a month.Kept them under control by spraying them and placing ant stations at various points. After a few weeks they were gone, when they were present it was awful!

  • isabelle


  • Nice

  • Pat Healy

    Swarm yesterday in Waterville Co kerry Ireland

  • Harry potter


  • Ruby simpson

    I have never done this before but I like it

  • Frank Tonna

    Just spotted a whole swarm of flying ants near my pond some are taking off & some have fallen into my pond where they struggle until they get eaten by the fish.

  • Some of these things look disgusting

  • Tammy Basque

    Walked into my house on a hot humid and they were like 20 of them in my big window. I have no idea how they got in.

  • Mahi


  • Mansi patel

    Wow! It's really amazing article....

  • wow

  • Prayosha Patel


  • Prayosha Patel

    It's WOW

  • Dhriti Patel


  • I Amy garden is full of flying ants at the moment

    Do they distroy my lovely summer plants

  • Mia Dinnes

    "Flying Ant day" today

  • Not seen any yet but they must be due...hot and humid today 28 this evening 07.08.20

  • kendall barnes

    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa these things are creepy

  • Isla

    Really interesting

  • Mister Bubbles

    Cool, love da amazon’ facts!!!

  • Lee

    We have seen lots of flying ants in Scarborough

  • Jonas

    I love your facts national geographic!

  • Tom Rogers

    I have just seen what seems like black flying ants mating with red flying ants!? Telford, England

  • Fatimah

  • Alexander

    All this is great

  • Daisy Daubney

    I saw lots coming from my patio on Thursday, I saw a Queen ant too

  • Charlotte

    In Sandnes Norway 31.7.20

  • Dude


  • Davy

    was watching Flying ants emerge today (31/07/20) it was fascinating watching them take their first flight

  • Mary

  • Sara

    Yes just discovered one on my leg! Think it landed on me outside as it's a really hot day. I just put it onto something and put it outside.

  • Olivia

    We had a a swarm of flying ants 30th July 2020 (yesterday) we live in Walsall, West Midlands

  • Ann Fiford

    Our 400 sqr metre lawn is infested with ants They all decided to swarm yesterday. The lawn was glistening and looked like silver looked lovely but the lawn had been messed up by the ants / any suggestions

  • Jennifer

    Twice this week we have had an emergence of flying ant from a number of places in our garden. This has happened for the past three years, each time the ants appear from the same place.

  • Sky

    Yeah I’ve seen a few

  • cool

  • Cool

  • John hall

    I have a nest of garden ants in my back garden and one in my front garden and today 30/7/2020 at about 1pm both nests have flying ants My back garden is large and the whole grass is alive with the flying ants

  • Lesley Jones

    Yes saw flying ants today! Very annoying.

  • Dave Mumford

    It's a wonderful time of year, new life taking flight. I absolutely love it and I help as many as I can to get airborne.

  • Joyce wardle

    Some the large black ant had no wings l noticed! They have swarmed twice this year covering my court yard & l'm intrigued each time .

  • Lynda

    We have got them in our Conservatory first time in 21 years normal ants and flying ants real pain.

  • Lorraine

    my ants are flying today Droitwich Worcestershire 30.7.2020


    We had been infested with them this Summer all around our patio door They started inside without wings but blocked out they changed to flying ants outside

  • Saw black ants and flying ants that seemed unsteady on the ground, none flying. Seen in Steventon Oxon, today.

  • Simon

    Thousands of flying ants this evening at RG29 1HX.

  • Sandra Small

    yes we are sat in the garden at the moment on Hayling Islanf and there appear to be 2 colonies setting up for flight. One next to our fish pond and they keep falling in - our fish are eating them and znother colony emerging from the lawn.

  • Natalie

    There are absolutely loads of flying ants out today when we was at the park. Eventually we had to leave because they became extremely annoying and the kids hated them.

  • David Badland

    Literally hundreds of flying ants emerged from under the base of my greenhouse on a beautiful summer's day.All were gone within two hours

  • Charlotte

    We watched little tornadoes of flying ants fill the skies, it was amazing

  • Amanda

    Yes today the garden is twinkling with moving ant wings

  • Sally

    lots in South West London yesterday

  • Toby

  • Cassius

    I saw them today

  • Parveen

    Just so annoying Seen so many for the first time this year In north west london

  • The Greens

    We have just witnessed the flight of about 10 different groups of ants taking to the skies in the last half hour!

  • susanmcfall@outlook.com

    Yes we have them in the garden now in Kent 29/7/202

  • t


  • great to no

  • So interesting

  • Fire monkey

    Good one gill

  • monkey

    that's weird!!!

  • Sue gtant

    July 24th evening, ate started flay from garden, and when walking down the road ,more ages were seen coming out, and fly off.

  • Linda

    Were were sat in the garden yesterday, snd out of the blue noticed flying ants in 3 areas of our garden just taking off, we were Amazed with The actual volume of ants collected together and just watching them fly off. One minute there was nothing the next well, and the whole thing only lasted a couple of minutes. Never seen it before even our dog just sat and watched them.

  • Sue Litchfield

    They arrived in Melton Mowbray today, never saw anything like it and had to pick them out of my hair when I got home.

  • thiago

    muy interesante son estos hechos me importan mucho

  • Kiddo2718


  • Mike

    Yes... now. Loads of them

  • Yvonne Moorhouse

    We’ve had loads of nests this evening. Thousands and thousands flying out of their nests. 24/7/20

  • Fitzy

    Ants 2 late afternoons ago. There are more tonight Lewsey Fm Luton

  • Anne smith

    24th June .so glad I have bug screens up on Windows..

  • I love scarbra

  • Ursula Brown

    Flying ants in a swarm on my lawn right now in Sleaford, linconshire

  • I love scarbra

  • Mary arends

    Flying ants in Liverpool today 24/7

  • Sarah

    Flying ants today in our garden in Morecambe, appeared at about 5.15pm!

  • M Harris

    Saw lots in Widnes Cheshire today

  • Carol hill

    Right now in my garden 23/7/20

  • Maria Paine

    Just seen two groups of flying ants in our back garden in Derby.

  • Paul

    Lots of flying ants in my back garden here in Chester, came out about 14.00..

  • crazycrazygurl

    wwwwwwwwwwwwwoooooooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwoooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwoooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwoooooooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwww cool stuff guys! :D

  • littlepanda


  • Carly

    yes I literally had one in my kitchen

  • Akanni


  • wow!

  • Joan hamer

    We had a swarm in the kitchen giving birth to a load of baby ants. Forgot to keep the door closed . We had them four years ago. So always kept it closed in middle to end of July.

  • dodo love


  • fantastic

  • Lola


  • lfawez

    Can't wait :(

  • Amanda

    I saw lots of them in a big huddle on my dad‘s drive and also in my garden flying around. Leeds 15 West Yorkshire

  • Tyrone

  • susan

    yes I have had several in my home. No sign of them outdoors.

  • Beryl barnes

    We have them every year but always appear in exactly the place. Why is this ?

  • cool

  • Michael

    Hundreds of flying ants invade our garden and destroy the cement in our patio every year. Can we get rid of them?

  • William

    Perfect I love this it will help get rid off these ants

  • Diane

    No ants one minute and then thousands of flying ants were all over the garden. Friday 17 th July in Devon. Fascinating to watch.

  • Cool

  • Lord de Lullington

    I have always seen the ant as a nuisance and stamped on them and more. NOT ANY MORE "FORGIVE ME ANT" Richard

  • Elizabeth Hall

    Yes several clouds of them taking off One seemed to be coming out of a nest but were being attacked by ants with no wings. There were bodie of dead ones on their backs

  • Florence Rigby

    Yes and loads of small winged ones

  • Linda

    Yes in Mayland 12 July

  • doge

    wow such facts

  • Lions are the best

    this is great!

  • F00tba11I5

  • Platon Samuel

    Loads of flying ants this morning in Eastbourne.

  • Sam

    Love the facts

  • Yes I have

  • Most helpful thank you

  • Annabelle Sherring

    On Sunday 12th of July, me, my sister and my mum were relaxing in the garden when a gigantic swarm of flying ants landed all around us. Until now, I didn’t know what they were.

  • Oliver

    Yes it was at our compost

  • DAWN

    wow! But why do tennis stars not like ants

  • Sakura


  • Clara

    I have seen loads

  • Sandra

    Haven't seen any flying ants yet in North London .

  • Wow

  • Hi

  • Cool

  • maria camila cordoba gaviria

    i really like that because i love animals and also one has to take good care of animals

  • Margaret Hitchcock

    Three separate swarms took off today in the warm weather. There were thousands. Unfortunately the birds seem to have missed them though the swifts may have caught some of the higher up.

  • Jord

    Lots of them coming out a window frame

  • SusieW

    Just witnessed hundreds of winged ants taking flight from our patio. Nottinghamshire. 12.07.2020

  • Annie

    I've just witnessed a swarm of flying ants, which is why I wanted to find out more about them

  • rexwebb

    YES only a few hours ago 15.00 hrs they all flew from my friends big plant pot .

  • Lesley

    Yes they in my garden swarms of them . And they are annoying flying at you !

  • Michael Amos

    12 .07 20 Had loads of flying ants in garden today. Just appeared out of the cracks in paving. Absolutely remarkable. Within sn hour they were gone. Miracle of nature

  • gloria greenslade

    iv seen lots in my garden today , iv also got Giant ants

  • Bryan

    Swarm of flying ants in New Bold st Helen's merseyside. Seem to be attracted to the artificial grass for some reason

  • Graham Longden

    My study was covered with flying ants, how they got there I don't know, many about 15mm long others very tiny. This happened today 12th July 2020

  • Diana

    Lots today July 12

  • Patrick

    It is incredible that ants can produce wings from nowhere to repopulate? We talk about Butterflies and their transformation, but isnt this just astonishing.

  • Lewis, jacob

    Flying ant in Worcester 12/07/2020

  • SeamusMurphy

    Ants are flying in Churt Durrey today Sunday July 12 2020,

  • Hazza

    Thats very cool. We have flying ant's everywhere. We did not know if they were bad or good thanks for the info!!!!

  • Alex905

    yes I have seen loads

  • Iona Rose Emerson

    Today is the 12 th July 2020. It is sunny and it’s the afternoon. We live in Hampshire. We just had an ant swarm

  • Denise Banks

    Ants have started flying in my garden today

  • heidi


  • Jo

    That's cool

  • JimBradstow

    I have ants nests all over my garden. Saw my first queen of the year today. Isale of Thanet.

  • Green fingers

    Yes, a few minutes ago a large swarm emerged From a large pot in my garden

  • Dazza

    I'm in surrey. Temperature is 21 and they have just finished flying the next 12.20. Strange how all nests know when to come out at the same time! They are 2 days early to last year 2019

  • Chris

    Today, 12th July, is the first time I've seen flying ants in 2020 here on the Surrey / Hampshire borders.

  • Dan Angell

    Just had a huge swarm in my garden, never seen anything like it!

  • Kay Smith

    Just saw a load taking off in my garden in Bristol today 11/7/20, at 17:00

  • Milani


  • Lucy

    weird stuff!

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