Tourists holidaying in Spain’s Alicante region were horrified to see beaches covered with flying ants this week. The sand is reported to be full of insects.
The insects have also invaded local parks and streets as well as schools and first appeared on Tuesday.
According to tourists, sunbathers have been left horrified about finding Alicante’s beaches crawling with the bugs.
One horrified sunbather said: “They look like a black blanket on the sand.”
Experts say that the flying ants appear every autumn or spring when it rains and it is part of their biological cycle.
READ MORE: Selfie horror as tourists kill baby seal – ‘worst thing we’ve seen’
They have tried to reassure the worried tourists that the flying ants will disappear within a week.
“Having wings is part of the development they carry out to leave an anthill and to be able to find a new colony in another location,” the experts said.
Alicante has experienced lower temperatures this week which could explain the explosion of flying ants.
A biologist told Spanish paper Informacion.es: “The rain is a signal for them that they can start this biological cycle.
“They detect that the ground is wet and can dig into it to create a new anthill. They leave where they are to look for another one.
“It can last from three to seven days, then they disappear. It is not only a phenomenon in rural areas.
“In cities it also occurs in parks or spaces where there are areas where you can dig.”
Tourists and locals have been urged to remain calm even though the flying ants are attracting a lot of attention.
READ MORE: France holiday warning as strikes cause chaos
Although the ants may be irritating for sunbathing tourists, they aren’t harmful and won’t hurt people.
The female ants are generally bigger than males and the queens can be up to 15mm in length.
Peppermint works as a natural ant repellent and tourists can mix peppermint oil with dish soap and water to deter the creatures.
However, the phenomenon is unlikely to last for long as it is only during the breeding season for ants.
Additional reporting by Rita Sobot.