Wimbledon 2018: Flying ants disrupt play after descending on SW19

A swarm of flying ants on their mating ritual flight descended on Wimbledon causing disruption on and off court.

Insects fly around as Caroline Wozniacki prepares to serve. Picture: AP
Insects fly around as Caroline Wozniacki prepares to serve. Picture: AP

The wing-creatures appeared late in the afternoon and were soon seen across the majority of courts, and bugging spectators on Henman Hill.

Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki asked the umpire if there was something that could be sprayed to keep the bugs away.

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She said: “They’re in my mouth and in my hair and everywhere - we need to do something. Is there a spray?

Flying insects on No. 1 Court during the women's singles match between Caroline Wozniacki and Ekaterina Makarova. Picture: AP

“I want to be here to focus on tennis, not eating bugs.”

Various players were seen swotting the ants away, while some appeared to get stuck in Wozniacki’s hair.

The bugs were also seen resting on the well manicured lawn of the courts, having arrived en masse.

A spokeswoman for the All England Lawns Tennis Club said: “As we experienced at the Championships last year, the natural seasonal appearance occurs once a year when ants embark on what is often referred

to as a ‘nuptial flight’, which should otherwise be thought of as a mating ritual.

“It happens roughly on the same day across the country, with some regions following a day or two afterwards.

“According to the Management at the Zoological Society of London, typically they appear at the end of the month, however they have appeared earlier this year.”