Ant in Winter

Winter has arrived, and amid all the festivities, the disappearance of ants from your house brings immense relief, but at the same time, you must be curious as to where they go during the winter. After all, they become a real headache in the summer. With the arrival of the cold winter winds, ants seem to vanish into thin air. No, it’s no magic trick. Nor do they play with snowmen as we do. It is time for them to go into hibernation in places that are warmer for them during the chilly winter. They may be both indoors and outdoors.

The cold of winter causes a dramatic temperature drop in their bodies, and the ever-busy ants become quite sluggish in their movements. The warmer places that they look for in the outdoors are tree bark, deep underground soil, under debris and rocks, etc., whereas in homes, they may build their nest inside the frames of doors and windows, walls, or in other hidden places like inside cabinets, appliances or floors—anything fits their needs for nesting habitats.

Naturally Cold-Blooded Insects

Ants, which are by nature cold-blooded, depend on the outer environment for the regulation of their body temperature. Every species of ant varies in their ideal body temperature. Ants are most likely to maintain an active colony by constantly foraging for food and doing nest repairs when their body temperature ranges from 75 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prepping for the Fall

Even though in winter ants undergo a behavioral change, they still manage to survive the colder weather. Some ants build their habitat under big rocks and use the sun’s heat from the rock itself. Others use the heat generated from decomposing leaves, while still others build mounds that are visible above the ground, and underneath they dig intense tunnels that gather heat. They become dormant and emerge again when the earth warms up in spring, and then they start off with their tireless process of foraging food. To generate their own body heat to some extent during this long rest, they build their individual fat stores by eating a lot. In autumn they don’t just eat extra but also make sure that they don’t need to think about food in winter by storing some food in their crops. There are also other species who keep food on-hand for winter. All their hard work, from making their nest stronger with the necessary repairs to finding food sources and teaming up to gather the food, is only a master plan for sustenance during the winter months.

Why Do They Slow Down?

Before ants again start afresh in summers to work for their cycle of survival, every winter as the temperature keeps dropping, they become slower. After a point, they stop coming out of their nest entirely. To accumulate as much warmth as possible, all the ants circle around the queen. After a long year of hardships and a busy work schedule, it is in winter that they slow down to regroup.

More Numbers Is More Warmth

If you are still doubtful about their survival deep beneath the ground, know that they can do just fine and survive in underground when the external temperature runs in minus degrees. Want to know how? It is actually quite simple. When the air outside is colder, the temperature beneath the ground remains comparatively warmer, thus keeping the ants warm. Moreover, ants are smart insects who know how to keep themselves and the entire colony warm by grouping together and sharing their body heat. They are clever enough to bring their activities at a halt, meanwhile saving their energy for the coming months when they have to work for another such winter.

Ants Insides Homes in Winter

Winter is the season when you generally won’t find ant movement or activity inside your house. However, there may be exceptions simply because your house is not just a warmer option compared to the outer environment, but it is also a storehouse of edible substances for ants from which they can gather energy. Food crumbs on countertops, in the family room, on the floor, in kitchen nooks and appliances, and also in pet dishes seem to attract a hoard of ants into your home in winter. So, the best way to keep them from attacking your house is to keep everything in your house spick and span. Threatened with starvation, ants will automatically move out of your home.

However, if you are still unable to get rid of these stubborn insects, it is advised that you get in touch with the nearest professional pest control services. The deriving of warmth from your house walls and food remnants is like deriving the same from natural sources. It is just that these sources are an alternative. Another important fact about ants is that they are not at all lazy, so they don’t rest long after their body temperature normalizes before restarting their summer action.

Springtime Emergence

Ants reawaken from their winter rest by the time the climate warms up in the early spring. The ant colony becomes fully active by the end of spring. They are again back to foraging for food, preparing to mate in summer, and maintaining and repairing their nest. Every ant doesn’t do everything in a colony. They are extremely organized and believers in teamwork. So, there are designated teams for each task. When the weather again starts to become cooler, they begin making arrangements for securing their nest for the upcoming winter.

Winter Ants: The Stand-Out

Prenolepis imparis is the ant species commonly referred to as the winter ant. The common name is self-explanatory. This species is the only exception among all other ant species, in that they go out foraging for food even in the extreme temperatures. Winter ants are mostly found in northern parts of Florida and are reported to specifically come out of their nests during the fall and be active from November to March. The rest of the months, the workers rest by sealing up their nests underground.

Ants in the Tropics

You may also be curious about ants that live in a tropical climate. In this case, ants rarely react to winters. Their response is rather a temporary shut-down during parts of summer, or the wet season. Their intelligence is reflected by some of their nests, which are extensively built with proper ventilation that maintains a uniform and humid temperature in the nest throughout the year.