Ants in the House in Winter
Why Do Ants Come Indoors?
Ants often move inside looking for better conditions, food, moisture, shelter, favorable temperatures and permanent residence. Ant activity indoors generally may actually decrease in winter, but observing ants swarmers or foragers during the cold weather months may indicate that an ant colony exists somewhere inside the home.
In this scenario, ants are usually located somewhere in an inner house wall, in door and window frames, or in hidden places.
These hiding places can include under, around or in or the home’s slab, floors, cabinets, appliances or accumulation of debris that serves as preferred and well-protected nesting habitats.
Escaping cold weather is not the only reason ants get inside the home in the winter.
Ants are omnivores and may be attracted to the interior of a home by substances that are edible and provide a good energy source.
What attracts ants?
Crumbs on floors & countertops
Food in pet food dishes
Food debris in cracks in the kitchen & appliances
Food debris in family rooms
So, keep things clean since ants will not survive or may go elsewhere if they have no food to provide life-sustaining energy.
Plans for Ant Control
Should ants become established indoors, whether in the warm or cool months of the year, it is usually very difficult to get control over them. Therefore, it may be advisable to contact your pest management professional (PMP) just as soon as you observe ant swarmers or ants foraging for food and let them conduct an inspection and prepare a science-based ant management plan that is tailored to your situation.
One other good reason to seek the expertise and help of your pest control company is the swarm you see may not be ants, but could be termites instead.
The pest management plan will include recommendations for sanitation, exclusion and reduction of potential ant habitat. Exclusion is one of the most important practices to deal with ants inside because if ants can’t get in they obviously will not become a problem.
However, excluding all ant methods of ingress into a home is a very exacting practice and just one more reason to employ the expertise of your pest management professional.
So, don’t be misled into thinking that killing the ants you see will resolve the ant problem in your home. In a scenario involving an established ant colony, you likely are seeing only a small portion of the colony’s foragers, so controlling only those you see will not provide much more than a temporary solution at best.
Common Ant Species That Like to Come Indoors
While the possibility exists for numerous and various ant species to invade the home during winter, the more likely species move inside from the outdoors are Acrobat ants, Argentine ants, Carpenter ants, Crazy ants, Dark rover ants, Ghost ants, Odorous ants, Pharaoh ants and White-footed ants. Read more about ants here.
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