Carpenter ants can be a major problem for homeowners. If an infestation goes undetected for too long, the cost of repairing the property damage can add up quickly. One support beam alone can cost $2000 or more.
But as temperatures drop, you can get a respite from bugs like carpenter ants, right? Not necessarily.
Does Cold Weather Kill Carpenter Ants?
Like many insects, carpenter ants go dormant in the winter – if they are outdoors. But, like people, they enjoy a cozy refuge in cold weather. Some carpenter ants will seek out a warm nesting spot that also provides food and water sources – like your home. If that happens, they will stay active and chew through the wood in your home to make nests.
If carpenter ants were actually exposed to winter weather – yes, it could kill them. Carpenter ants are cold blooded like all insects. So, in nature, carpenter ants survive cold temperatures by wintering in the deepest part of their nests and going dormant until spring.
Are Carpenter Ants Active in Fall?
Carpenter ants are often even more active than usual in the fall. They respond well to cool, but not cold, temperatures and damp or rainy weather.
In fact, carpenter ants will look for wet wood to find a place to nest. That means autumn can be a time when carpenter ant infestations are even more likely, not less. Worse, they will often establish a nest in a house in the fall, which means they will have a nice, cozy place to stay for the winter.
Do Carpenter Ants Go Dormant in the Winter?
Yes, carpenter ants in the wild will go dormant in the winter to survive the cold.
However, if during the summer or fall the carpenter ants found a warm place to nest, such as your home, they will stay active during the winter. That’s bad for the wood in your home – though carpenter ants can also chew through other material, such as certain types of plastic.
Why Would I Have Ants in the Winter?
Ants, like other pests (such as mice), want a warm place to spend the winter. In the wild, ants will move to the deepest, warmest part of their nests and go dormant for the winter.
However, if they can find a warm location with food and water, they will spend the winter there instead. That makes your home or business a very attractive refuge for ants in the winter.
Can You Treat for Carpenter Ants in Winter?
Carpenter ant treatment can absolutely be done in the winter. In fact, it is essential if you have a carpenter ant infestation that time of year. If not taken care of, carpenter ants can do tremendous damage (including structural damage) before spring.
If you have any reason to think ants have moved into your home during the fall or winter – especially if they are carpenter ants – the wisest choice is to get an inspection and, if necessary, treatment as soon as possible.
Arrow Can Get Rid of Your Carpenter Ants
Don’t let your home become a winter refuge for a carpenter ant colony. Our experts at Arrow Exterminating can get rid of any infestation. For more information or to schedule an inspection, contact us today.