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Where Do Ants Go in the Winter?

Many of us are starting to break out our coats and scarves to keep warm as the fall weather turns colder. Eventually, those temperatures will drop even more, leaving us humans to huddle in our warm houses or bundle up even more before venturing outside. No matter if you love winter or loathe it, there is something to celebrate: the ants stop marching! Why is this? Where do ants actually go in the winter?

Preparing for the Cold


Ants spend much of the warmer seasons searching out food sources and collecting it. Like many other insects and animals, the winter time is the season in which the ants slow down and more or less become dormant until the earth warms up again. In order to prepare for this long rest, the ants must eat a lot to build up personal fat stores. Ants will search out any accessible food sources, from grease and sugar left on the ground to dirty dishes and garbage. As the scouts find food sources, they leave a trail for the other workers to follow to the food source so they can take more back to their colony to eat and prepare for winter.


Slowing Down


As the weather cools, the ants move slower and slower. Eventually, they stop coming in and out of the entrances to their colonies. They actually huddle together for warmth with all of the workers surrounding the queen, their source for new life. They stay deep in their colony during the colder months until warm weather wakes them up again. Then the scouts go out to find food sources, and the cycle begins anew.


Preventing Spring Invasions


The good news is that because the ants stop scouting for food during the winter, this provides you with the perfect amount of time to prepare for and prevent a spring invasion. You can start by treating the perimeter of your home to keep ants from coming inside in the first place. Taking this type of action while the ants are virtually immobile should give you a head start on keeping them out of your house once the temperature rises.


Remember the Colony Lives On


Just because you don’t see ants during the winter months doesn’t mean that they’ve all died off. In fact, once spring rolls around, they will be on the hunt for a steady source of food. Keep your home clean and be proactive during the winter to head off a spring invasion.