Just like us, ants will take steps to survive the winter. Ants will eat large amounts of food in the fall to increase their fat stores. This will allow them to go without food during the cold months. They will become dormant during this time where they will feed off fats carbohydrates and proteins that they have stored. When the temperature drops to about 50 degrees Fahrenheit, ants look for places to take sanctuary. Unfortunately, our homes provide them with food and a warm shelter. When the cold weather arrives, the bodies of ants will dramatically drop, with movement becoming very slow. If you see one or two ants, chances are there are others you can’t see. They will find these places and cluster together to maintain body heat. They will make sure the queen is protected from the elements to maintain the colonies population. The openings to the nests will close as the activity slows down and eventually stops. As the weather begins to get warmer, the ants will become active again. The entrances will be opened so they can go outside. The worker ants will be the first to venture outside to look for food. Once they find a source of food, they will eat it and go back to the colony. Others will be alerted as to where to locate the food. This is done by an odor trail that is left behind from the food source of the colony. When you see ant trails, this is what is going on.
How to Get Rid of Ants
There are three big steps you cab take to prevent ants from invading your home.
1. Remove food sources. Ants will not come into your home if there isn’t food for them. Store food that isn’t sealed in tight fitted containers or in areas that aren’t easily accessible.
2. Surface cleaning. Be consistent in cleaning spills and crumbs that can be taken back to the colony. There are cleaning solutions such as vinegar that will deter ants from areas such as countertops and flooring.
3. Locate ant nests by following the trail. One ant means many more are around. If you see an ant trail, follow it back to where the colony is. If you can, locate it and put ant motels out or other traps next to the colony to take care of the problem.
Once you have eliminated the problem, take the steps necessary to prevent them from returning. Make sure you aren’t repeating the conditions that had you dealing with them in the first place. Become consistent in cleaning food related spills that will invite them into your home. Ants detest the smell of vinegar, so use it as part of your cleaning routine.
Indoor & Outdoor Ant Control
If you know how ants survive over the winter, you can take steps to prepare and prevent invasions in the spring. Reduce the chances that ants will overwinter in your home by hiring an exterminator to treat the walls and perimeter of your home. These chemicals are powerful at killing ants on contact and will leave a long-lasting effect to keep them out of your home the following spring. Do all you can to keep them out and contact Envirotech Pest Solutions if your home becomes a shelter for ants or other pests this winter!