Ants March in March: Why Do Ants Come Out in Spring?
As the weather starts to warm up, you may notice more ants crawling around your yard, patio, or even inside your home. Ants are one of the most common insects in the world, and their arrival every spring happens like clockwork. Why do ants come out in spring? In this blog post, we will explore the biological and environmental factors that influence the behavior of ants in the spring and why they seem to become more active during this time of year.
What Do Ants Do During the Wintertime?
You don’t see as many ants during the winter because there are fewer of them aboveground. Ants are ectothermic, which means that their body heat is regulated by external temperatures rather than internally.
In practical terms, this means that when the weather gets cold around fall and winter, most ants die or return underground. The ants that go underground stop eating and drinking, their heart rates and breathing slow. They enter diapause, which is very similar to hibernation, until the weather gets warm again.
Why Do Ants Come Inside in the Springtime?
When the weather warms in the spring, ants start to wake up from diapause. By this time, they’ve burned off all of the food and nutrients they had managed to store during the fall. They’re voraciously hungry, and their immediate objective is to find a source of food.
They will look anywhere – indoors or out – but if your home happens to be the place where they find food, they will keep coming back. Once ants find a food source, they are likely to keep relying on it until they can’t. Moisture is also something that ants look for. They need to hydrate to survive. If they find a water source in your home, they will keep coming back to the proverbial well.
Food and water aren’t the only reasons ants might come inside in the spring. Weather can also be a factor. Ants will search for shelter during heavy rains, or in the event of an unexpected late spring cold snap they’ll migrate inside seeking warmth.
Queens also leave their old nests during spring to mate and form new colonies. It’s possible she will find your home has exactly the features she desires for her next colony.
What Can You Do About Springtime Ants in Your House?
It’s always better to treat an ant problem sooner rather than later. Once an ant colony is established in your home, solving the problem can feel like an uphill battle.
Keeping a tidy house is the biggest part of preventing an ant colony from infesting your home. If there’s no food for them, they will go elsewhere. Of course, this can be easier said than done since ants don’t need a lot of food to survive.
Keeping a spotless kitchen – since this is where the majority of food debris and residue can be found – goes a long way toward eliminating ants in all parts of the house. Particularly in the springtime when ants are most likely to be on the move, a clean kitchen can help prevent these pests for the rest of the year. Of course, don’t forget to clean up any crumbs or food residues in other parts of the house too if you eat there. Also, don’t forget to clean up spilled pet food and pet food dishes and bowls.
Sometimes, cleaning up crumbs isn’t enough. Here are some things you can do to control indoor ants during the springtime:
- Bait Stations: These traps may have a spotty track record for eliminating established indoor ant colonies, but they can be effective at alleviating ant problems.
- Destroy Nests/Colonies: Nests can be difficult to find, but if you do, there are some highly effective treatments you can apply directly to them.
- Fix Leaky Plumbing: Similar to eliminating food residue, if you can eliminate traces of moisture, you will make your home a hostile environment to ants.
- Seal Any Openings to Your House: Ideally, do this before springtime to stop roving ants from coming indoors.
What If There Are Ants in Your Home During the Winter?
If you happen to see ants indoors during the winter, it’s a strong indication that there is an active ant colony somewhere inside of your home. When ants establish a colony in a warm space, they don’t need to hibernate. Your home’s cozy climate control allows them to remain active throughout the year.
If you encounter ants in your home during the winter months, we recommend calling a professional ant exterminator like Antworks Pest Control. They will be equipped with the expertise and tools to eliminate them for good.