Have you walked through swarms of flying ants lately? Relax, they're just mating
Hot and wet summer means flying ants, mosquitoes and midges are abundant in the region
Ontario's hot and wet summer has made for perfect conditions for flying ants to multiply, creating mating swarms that can make for unsettling encounters with hundreds of randy bugs (but also a protein-rich meal).
"What we're seeing is the effect of weather. It's a hot wet summer. But if climate change brings us more of those kinds of summers, than we'll be seeing more of those bugs."
Social media has been buzzing about the swarms of flying insects in the last few days. Some have described swimming pools clogged with insects while others have brushed them out of their hair after an evening walk.
When you walk through a swarm of flying ants, you're essentially walking through a giant mating session, said Sinclair.
A tiny, tasty treat
The queens fly around, mating with as many males as possible. They keep the sperm until they die.
"Because it's been so moist the last month or so, that speeds up the life cycle," said Bruno Levesque, the Ontario Regional Manager for Orkin Canada, the pest control company.
"They become overpopulated so they need to break off and create sub colonies."
Many ants mean more queens, more mating, and more colonies, Levesque said.
The flying ants are completely harmless, though a slight nuisance, Sinclair and Levesque say. But if they're in your house, best to call a pest control company.
And there's a tasty upside, too.
"These bugs, they're delicious," Sinclair said. "The females of the species have a lot of protein. In cultures that eat ants, these are ones they eat."
Mosquitoes and midges are also thriving in the recent hot and wet weather.