What to do in the Winter to Help Prevent an Ant Invasion Next Summer
If you live anywhere in the world where temperatures dip below freezing in the winter months, you’re not the only one staying indoors to keep warm. Those millions of ants that appear every spring and harass you through the fall are also preparing for the dark days of winter.
In the fall, ants eat like crazy, building up body fat to last through the winter. When cold winds begin to blow, ants close off the openings to their nests. As temperatures drop, the ants become sluggish and slow. They seek out warm areas of the nest, often deep in the ground below the frost line. To maintain body heat, ants hunker down together around the queen thus protecting themselves and future generations.
When spring comes, ants clear their nest openings and boy, are they hungry. They swarm out of nests in search of food, water, and shelter and might swarm right into your house. To prevent this, you need to get active in winter to prevent an ant invasion in spring.
Before the snow flies - clean up your yard, concentrating on possible shelters where ants might nest. Get rid of debris such as piles of wood, grass, leaves, and brush. Keep the grass short and plants trimmed and clear of the foundation. While you’re outdoors, caulk up cracks in the foundation and around window and doors. Don’t forget gaps where pipes, cables, and utility lines enter the home. This will not only keep out spring ants, it will lower your heating bills as well.
In late winter, create a “dry zone” if possible around your foundation and exterior walls. Make sure there are no leaky faucets, dripping gutters, or piles of damp mulch pushed up against the house. These water sources will attract thirsty ants when they wake up with rising temperatures.
Finally, you can’t go wrong with ant bait stations—any time of year. Place the bait stations under sinks, in the basement, and anywhere else ants might be tempted to visit. When the spring ants arrive—and they will—the bait stations will rid your house of ants, and also kill off the ants in the colonies outdoors.