During warm weather months, people often won’t worry about seeing a stray ant… assuming that it’s just a random scout. Such ants can be a real problem but finding an ant in your home during the winter can be a sign of an even bigger problem.
What Happens to Ants in Winter?
Ants are exothermic, or cold-blooded, which means they don’t produce their own body heat. During the winter that means ants must find a warm place to nest or – depending upon the ant species – take certain actions to survive the winter.
Can Ants Survive in the Cold?
Exposed to the cold of winter, no… ants cannot survive. However, ants have developed survival methods to make it through the winter.
For example, many species of ants will huddle together deep in their underground colony as far away from the cold as they can get. Some ants (like wood ants) will create large mounds of dirt above their colony. The mound can absorb radiant heat from the sun and help warm the colony below it.
Some ants will even divide into smaller colonies with their own queens as the weather turns cold. These splinter colonies remain loosely connected to the original and will merge together again in spring. Splitting off into separate colonies improves the odds of overall survival in case something goes wrong and exposes the colony to extreme cold.
Many ants, while huddling together during winter, will enter a state known as diapause. This physiological state is often compared to hibernation, but diapause is temporary dormancy, while hibernation involves metabolic slowdown.
Is It Normal to Have Ants in Winter?
Having ants inside your home during the winter is not normal. Ants should be burrowed in their colonies underground during the cold winter months. If you see ants in the winter, it could be a very bad sign for your home…. which leads to the next question.
Where Are Ants Coming From?
During the winter, if you see an ant inside your home, it means a group of ants are using your home to survive the cold. After all, it provides vital warmth – as well as food and water sources.
Even worse, carpenter ants can do the same thing. Since they nest in wood, they could have chewed tunnels in the beams of your home and will emerge hungry in the spring. This is why it is important to seek help any time you see any sort of ant inside during winter.
Arrow Exterminates Ants
Don’t let ants drive you buggy. If you think you have an ant problem, keep your family safe and prevent it from getting worst by calling Arrow Exterminating to identify the type of ant and eliminate them. To get started, contact Arrow Exterminating today.