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WHY DO I HAVE ANTS IN THE FALL?

Serving Vancouver WA | Portland OR | Beaverton OR

Ants eat food that’s left out - learn other reasons you might have ants in your Portland area home in the fall from Antworks pest control

Most people are accustomed to seeing ants in the spring and summer – that’s when their populations tend to peak. But in the fall, ants are supposed to disappear, aren’t they? Typically, yes, that’s what should happen. Ants don’t do well in cold temperatures, so they often die off or get driven indoors. However, once they go inside it can become a problem because they’re able to remain active all year due to the comfy climate-controlled conditions.

In this article, we’ll talk about ants in the fall, why you might have them, and what you can do about it.

Why Do Ants Behave Differently in the Fall?

Ants can be bad most of the year, but sometimes it seems like they get even worse right before winter. Why is that? There are two reasons driving this behavior: rain, and lack of honeydew.

  1. Rain: Any amount of rain can motivate ants to move indoors, but the heavy rains of late September and October seem to move them faster. They seek “higher ground” to avoid being flooded. 
  2. Lack of honeydew: No, we’re not talking about the melon. Honeydew is a staple of ant diets, produced by aphids. The lack of honeydew is caused by plant life death. When plants die, so do aphids, and dead aphids mean that less honeydew is being produced – so odorous ants are forced to find another source of food.

How to Prevent Ants from Coming Inside in the Fall

Now that you understand the driving forces behind the ants’ behavior, it’s easier to determine how to keep them outside. Here are some ways to keep ants from getting inside during the fall:

  • Seal all entry points: This includes cracks in foundation walls, cracks in caulking, and any smaller cracks along joints or corners. Check all utility pipe entrances. Are they sealed as well? Remember to check your weather stripping, too!
  • Trim vegetation away from the house: Don’t provide any kind of pathway for ants to explore your home, even if it’s the exterior!
  • Seal garbage containers tightly. Ants are desperate for food – and they will be very interested in your garbage. Make sure they can’t access it by sealing it tightly.
  • Clean up all food items and crumbs: Never leave anything on the floor, countertop, or table that ants might find!
  • Sweep and mop regularly: This is for two reasons: To clean any stray crumbs and to eliminate any potential pheromone trails.
  • Fix any leaks or drips: Ants need water, too! This is a common reason why ants end up in the bathroom.

How to Treat Ants in the Fall

Using store-bought products can have varying effectiveness with ants. Especially in the fall, it can be difficult to know the full extent of the infestation, and if you don’t get them all you risk having the infestation regenerate in strength or even split off into multiple infestations. This practice is also known as budding. 

So what can you do? Give the ant control experts at Antworks Pest Control a call–we can help to identify the ant, identify how large the problem is, and apply the correct treatment to fix the problem. You don’t have to live with ants, and you don’t have to spend the entire winter battling them! 

Contact us today to schedule your appointment!

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