Attack of the Mating Gnats!

Reports that a swarm of “flying ants” has overtaken the Delaware Valley have residents bugging out.

The Philadelphia area welcomed thousands of unwanted guests on Monday night as a swarm of pesky gnats descended on the Delaware Valley in what experts say was a one-day, once-a-year occurrence and definitely not a precursor to the end of the world. (Wouldn’t that just be our luck? The apocalypse is totally going to arrive at a time when our Eagles are undefeated).

According to 6ABC, the insects came to Philly specifically to mate – an interesting call on their part. I likely would’ve chosen a tropical location for such an exercise in pleasure, but I guess that’s just my human nature. In any event, residents all over the city were bugging out on social media at the sight of so many “flying ants.”

The phenomenon of this mating ritual has been recorded as far north as Connecticut and even has its own name, “Labor Day Ants.” Labor Day Gnats may have been a more appropriate moniker, but even gnats itself is a nontechnical term. Those little buggers are scientifically called nematocera.

The Philadelphia Police Department, which has been known to have a joke or two up its blue sleeves, took to Twitter to pledge allegiance to our new microscopic rulers:

Meanwhile the folks over at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health had some advice for more hot-tempered citizens interested in using more extreme measures to remedy the issue:

State law prohibits the health department from treating neighborhood properties infested by insects. You can either try bug spray, or more extensive complaints may be submitted to the Housing and Complaints Unit of the Department of Licenses and Inspections.

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