06/07/2017 11:09 BST

Flying Ant Day Sees Wimbledon Besieged By 'Winged Fiends'

'Nasty, winged fiends.'

Horrified reports from around the country on Wednesday evening revealed that the day was finally here: Flying Ant Day.

You may not be aware of this, but Flying Ant Day occurs every year - and inspires the same disgust annually.

The creatures tend to emerge across a period of days or a few weeks but there is often one day when they mass. This year that was Wednesday 5 July.

Their emergence caused havoc at Wimbledon, with players seen swatting at the the ants.

Andrew Couldridge / Reuters
Flying ants surround France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga during his second round match against Italy’s Simone Bolelli 
Tony O'Brien / Reuters
The umpire on centre court reacts as he is surrounded by flying ants during the match between Croatia’s Donna Vekic and Great Britain's Johanna Konta

Many people around the country tweeted their horror...

Ants are thought to take their cue to swarm when a spell of wet weather is followed closely by hot humid weather.

The occurrence, which is surely the biggest event in the insect diary all year, is part of the reproductive life cycle of ants.

On Flying Ant Day, both males and females sprout wings and the virgin queens mate with males. They then land and begin a new colony of their own.

If it’s your sort of thing, you can look closely at the ant while they are flying and see some are larger than others - these are the queens.