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Ant-icipation flying high in London as pests predicted for Euros final

Large swarms of flying ants are taking to the skies around the capital.

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A flying ant, snapped during an appearance on an outer court at Wimbledon in 2017 (Philip Toscano/PA)

A flying ant, snapped during an appearance on an outer court at Wimbledon in 2017 (Philip Toscano/PA)

A flying ant, snapped during an appearance on an outer court at Wimbledon in 2017 (Philip Toscano/PA)

The Met Office has issued a “forecast” which could bug the England team as it seeks Euro glory in Sunday’s final against Italy – millions of flying ants are taking flight this weekend and could descend on areas including Wembley.

Over roughly three months each summer, weather conditions are ideal for the insects to mate while in flight around England.

This of course includes north-west London, and the phenomenon was shown in spectacular fashion on Friday when the Met Office tweeted weather radar images that showed, as well as rain clouds, vast swarms of flying ants around London.

“Our radar is picking up more than just #rain this morning – it’s actually insects!” the Met Office said. “Whilst there are a few rain showers, many of the echoes are in fact insects.”

In the wake of the image, insect experts have said the ants could cause annoyances for players and spectators alike at the Euro 2020 final, while they would also likely make an appearance on centre court for the weekend’s Wimbledon finals.

Adam Hart, professor of Science Communication at the University of Gloucestershire and a fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, told Sky News the swarms signalled the beginning of this year’s flying ant season.

Professor Hart added: “If conditions are right on Sunday there may be more than three lions on shirts at Wembley and all around the country.”

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