Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - Many Central New Yorkers noticed a sudden infestation of flying bugs on Tuesday evening.
Tiny and ant-like, their numbers took many people by surprise.
Experts at SUNY ESF didn’t witness the explosion of bugs, but have narrowed it down to a few options.
The first: alate ants.
“They will fly up out of their underground nest and they will mate. From there the males kind of die and the females will chew off their wings and form a new any colony somewhere,” explained Melissa Fierke, an Associate Professor at SUNY ESF.
Other suspected bugs include midges and dance flies.
"Two different kinds of flies that emerge in large quantities and they'll form these mating swarms so it's all about mating. It's all about massive numbers and getting lots of different options," Fierke said.
Figuring out what kind of bug it was may be difficult, as the descriptions given to SUNY ESF have varied.
In fact, SUNY ESF experts believe it could be a combination of all three.
"But then there's some environmental que that says OK, it time to metamorphosize and become adults and so they kind of do it all at once," Fierke explained.
A que that may have been influenced by wet and humid conditions.
But just as quickly as they arrived, Fierke says they're more than likely done.
SUNY ESF experts say while they can be pests, the bugs are pretty much harmless and won't bite or sting.