A wildlife expert has reassured people that a flying ant swarm picked up by radar over England won't be coming towards Ireland - and that such ants don't do any harm anyway.
On Friday, the UK Met Office posted a short video showing that their radar had detected a swarm of the ants over south-east England.
It's not raining in London, Kent or Sussex, but our radar says otherwise...📡
The radar is actually picking up a swarm of #flyingants across the southeast 🐜
During the summer ants can take to the skies in a mass emergence usually on warm, humid and windless days #flyingantday pic.twitter.com/aMF6RxR943
— Met Office (@metoffice) July 17, 2020
The images prompted some claims that Ireland was set to be 'plagued' by a swarm of ants in the coming days and weeks.
However, Éanna Ní Lamhna said the blue area seen over Ireland in the video was just a standard rainfall radar.
Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, the author and environmentalist explained: "First of all, they're not going to plague us - a plague is something like locusts that does us harm. These flying ants don't do us any harm at all.
"There are two things mixed up here. There was a big swarm over the south of England, from Kent up to London - this is what the Met service in Britain actually found when they did their scans with their satellites.
"There were blue stripes over Ireland, and then a big blue thing down over Kent... but the blue stripes over Ireland, I'm sorry to tell you, were just the usual rainfall that comes along.
"[The ants] are over in Kent, doing their thing over there. They're not coming this way - they're not flying across the Irish sea. They're not going to gobble us up in our beds or run away with our sugar."
However, she said it is mating season for ants, and the ants here "will be having their own orgies in Ireland in due course".
She said: "These [ants] are food for swifts, food for seagulls... the whole sky is full of mating ants, feeding swifts and screaming seagulls. It's mayhem.
"Anyway, when they've done the deed they fall back down to Earth. The poor fellas, that's the end of them - once they've done their duty, there's no further role in life and they just die.
"But the females, if you watch them when they come back to land, they actually break off their wings, go back into the ground, and go into hibernation."
She stressed this won't be "a swarm of ants flying across the sea from Britain".