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Ants: Winter Pests You Don't Expect

Ants: Winter Pests You Don't Expect. It is common to see ants hard at work on an ant colony during the summer months, but what happens to ants in the winter? Is it possible to find ants, in the winter, in your house?

In cold blood. Ants are cold-blooded insects that rely on the environment to regulate their body temperature. While an ideal body temperature varies depending on the species, ants that are common around households in the United States reach peak productivity when the temperature is between 75-95 degrees Fahrenheit. At these temperatures, ants are more likely to forage for food and maintain an active colony. However, what happens to ants in winter?

The behavior of ants in the winter. What do ants do in the winter to survive? Ants have a few creative tricks to regulate their temperatures during the seasons. The type of trick depends on the ant species. Some ants build their colony under a large rock and use the rock to collect heat from the sun. Other ants build mounds with unique tunnels that collect heat, and some even use the heat of decomposing leaves. These tricks help regulate temperatures year-round, but as the weather gets even colder, the temperature drops, causing a behavior change in winter ants.

Finding house ants in winter. As the summer wanes, ants become much less present. But do ants die in winter? Is it possible to have an ant infestation in winter? Unfortunately, it is. Typically, when the temperature drops, ants become more sluggish. As activity lags, the entrance to the ant nest closes.

Do ants hibernate then, until the weather becomes warm again? This is typically the case, which is why you wouldn’t expect to find ants in the kitchen in winter, but this still happens. So what causes ants in the house in winter?

The winter interloper. Similar to the way ants use the sun and other objects in nature to maintain their body temperatures in warmer months, they can also use the warmth of your home and walls or tiles, to stay warm in the winter. Being the hard workers they are, once ants are able to maintain a warmer body temperature again, they jump back into action.

Are you still asking, “Why do I have ants in the winter?” Or are you curious about the best methods to control winter ants in your home? For a quick solution to your pest problems, call Terminix® and receive a free pest estimate.