Every summer sees the arrival of the flying ants, otherwise known as the 'Flying Ant Day' phenomenon, but have you ever wondered why they actually appear?
The period where flying ants are seemingly everywhere can last a few weeks but it usually builds up to a a specific day where millions emerge all over the country.
In order to brace yourself for the invasion, here's some things you need to know.
What is Flying Ant Day?
National Flying Ant Day is the day when male and female sprout wings and go on a "nuptial flight", where they seek ants from other colonies to mate with.
According to the Society of Biology, nuptial flight is an important phase in the reproduction of the ant species. During the flight, virgin queens mate with males and then land to start a new colony.
The flying ants that you encounter in your gardens or on the street are almost certainly the black garden variety, the Lasius niger, whose nests have a single queen and around 5,000 workers, although sometimes there can be more than 15,000.
Ants that you may encounter throughout the year are usually the worker ants, who collect food for the colonies. These ants are all female and usually live as adults for about a month, whereas the flying ants you encounter once a year are males or young queens.
The massive amount of flying ants you see helps with the chances of reproduction - there's a higher chance the queen will encounter a male from another nest.
The queen will need try to start a new nest once it has mated with the male, losing its wings in the process. This is why after 'National Ant Day' you'll see large ants walking about by themselves.
When will all this happen?
There isn't an exact date but flying ant day usually happens in July and is thought to be when a spell of wet weather is followed closely by hot humid weather, with Queen ants taking their cue from the weather to seek males to mate with.
The Royal Society of Biology is studying why this phenomenon occurs, investigating what weather conditions encourage ants to fly.
"After four years of our flying ant survey, we have found that flying ant day isn't as predictable as we had at first thought," the group said.
Professor Adam Hart FRSB at the University of Gloucestershire said: "With 2016 already proving to be a wet one, it will be interesting to see whether we get a repeat of 2012, when most of the flights were compressed into just a couple of days in July and August between the rain.
"Of course, if it clears up we may see a repeat of the beautiful ‘pulsing’ pattern of 2014, with regular flights every couple of weeks."
On a side note, beware of seagulls
Okay, a bit of a random heading to throw in, but if you're near a beach on Flying Ant Day then you need to be aware of crazed seagulls.
This is because it's been reported seagulls have been "getting drunk" feasting on flying ants.
Dr Rebecca Nesbit, an entomologist with the Society of Biology, has said the ants produce formic acid which can "stupefy" the gulls. She said the amount eaten could explain why gulls were not flying away from danger quickly.
This led some to fear an increase in seagull attacks, but Woodingdean wildlife expert Roger Musselle said they were more more likely to get hit by cars.
"I think they probably just like the flavour," he said. "It's fairly normal this time of year for it to happen because of the weather conditions.
"As soon as the flying ants come out you can see the gulls circling. They will go on to the grass or nearer roads where they can get to the ants."
So how do I get rid of them?
The flying ants don't pose any damage to humans in the UK, but they are really really REALLY annoying, so here's how to get rid of them.
1. Spray the ants with dishwashing soap
Dishwashing soap is an effective agent against flying ants, as it attaches to their bodies and dehydrates them. Get yourself a spray bottle to catch the little creatures in flight and mix two generous squirts of dish washing liquid with water.
2. Catch them with sticky tape
Lure the little things in with a food source and place some tape as close as possible with the sticky side up.
3. Attack ants with an artificial sweetener
Certain types of sweeteners are very toxic for ants. For example, if you mix in the sweetener with apple juice, it forms a viscous paste that the ants will carry back to the colony. Once consumed there, it will kill off a portion of their population.
4. Use insecticidal powder
An insecticidal lacquer can be applied around door thresholds or wall and floor junctions where ants run, or spray these areas with an insecticidal aerosol which is labelled for this use.
5. Place tin cans over the ant hill
This should be done in the morning. As it heats up, the ants take their eggs up into the can. In the afternoon slide a piece of cardboard under each can, and remove and dispose of the eggs. They make a nice treat for birds, especially chickens.
6. Pour boiling water into the ant hill
Once you have located the ant hill, pour boiling water over it. This should kill most of the ants and detract other ones from coming back.