What months are ants most active?
Ant Season: Everything You Need To Know
Ant season is fast approaching. In fact, we received our first ant control enquiry this week. Our customer found a few black ants in her kitchen. Leaving her very confused. She assumed ants would be inactive at this time of the year. Every year, shocked customers call us about how early in the year they find ants in their homes. As ants are one of the most common household pests, we feel everyone should know the basics about how and when infestations occur. So, here is everything you need to know about ant season.
Ant Season Begins
Ant season typically starts between late Winter and early Spring. Ants come out of hibernation as the weather starts to warm up. So, depending on the average temperatures, ants become active anytime from mid-February to early March. Worker ants are the first to become active. As it is their job to search for food. It is critical for the colonies survival that they work fast.
Worker ants work in small numbers. So, you may not notice them at this stage. However, treatment is most effective and straightforward at this time of year. As the colony is still small, it is easier to eradicate. Sterilising the Queen will stop the colony from growing. And then, it should just take one or two sprays to kill off the remaining ants.
For the first few months, ants focus on building and growing the colony. Workers source food to feed up the Queen. In order for her to reproduce as much as possible. The colony grows considerably by early summer. And by the height of summer, ant season is in full swing. By this point, a single colony contains thousands of ants. And the colony functions like a well-oiled machine. Workers search for food. Alerting the colony to retrieve anything they find. Additionally, they tend to the eggs. While the Queen’s main role is to keep laying eggs.
At this point, an infestation would be unmissable. As the sheer number of ants foraging and retrieving food would be so high. Treatment at the peak of the season is effective. However, not as straightforward as it would be earlier in the year. Depending on the size of the colony, it could take 4 or more sprays to kill them off.
Throughout autumn, ants consume as much food as they can. In preparation for winter. As the cold weather arrives, ants seemingly disappear. However, they essentially just hibernate. In winter, ants enter a dormant state. Retreating to their nests, and huddling together to protect the Queen, while keeping warm. Utilising the stored foods to keep them going.
Spottings ants searching for food in the winter is not unheard of. Typically unseasonally warm weather awakens ants. The rise in temperatures can trick ants into thinking it is approaching spring. However, once the temperatures drop again, they retreat back to dormancy. Performing ant treatments in winter is advisable if the nest becomes active.
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Why am I seeing ants inside my home when there’s snow on the ground?
Ants can be a nuisance inside any home, particularly during the warmer months, however, homeowners may be startled to find ants inside during the winter months. Typically several species of ants primarily create colonies outside and only enter homes in search of food to bring back to the colonies. However, seeing activity in your home during the cold winter months is a sure indicator that there is a nest located in the home. Carpenter ants are one of the species that may make your home, their home. Carpenter ants typically build their nests within wood where they have chewed out galleries or passageways in the wood. They do not use the wood for a food source like termites, instead they are excavating tunnels in which to live, still they can cause serious structural damage to wooden buildings and homes. Carpenter Ant
Source: Cooper Pest Solutions Carpenter ants are usually large and black in color, although some species may have combinations of black, red or orange throughout their body. These ants can be found in attics, ceilings, under floor coverings, cracks within walls, around door or window frames, shower or tub enclosed walls, as well as kitchen walls.
Carpenter ants damage books within a home
Source: PCT Magazine August 2015
Generally carpenter ants are most active at night while they search for food. During the warm months they feed on other insects or substances obtained from other insects, such as a sugary secretion known as “honeydew,” produced from aphids. However, during the colder months the ants remain largely dormant and only become active when temperatures become warm or if their colony is located near a heat source, such as a heating duct in the wall.
Over the counter ant control treatments are not effective in controlling the ants seen in your home during the winter months because the ants are not interacting with other ants in the nest as they do in the warm months. For this reason, even baits which are often shared with other nestmates, will only affect the individual ant that consumed the bait.
One-Time Ant Control Service Cooper’s One-Time Ant Control Service targets small nuisance ants and eliminates the populations in your kitchen, bathroom, or any other area they are being seen. We will create a protective barrier home by applying treatments to the exterior foundation of your home. In addition, gel baiting will be placed in discrete areas where ant activity is high indoors. Common placements for gel bait include window frames, pipe chases, and base boards.
If you are seeing large black ants, this is likely carpenter ant activity. Learn more about our carpenter ant services here. Ready to get rid of carpenter ants? Schedule service online for fast technician dispatch by clicking the button below.
When do ants come out? (UK)
Ants are most active in the warmer months of the year, typically emerging during the summer. Certain types of ants will also come out after a rainstorm to look for food and water. When conditions are just right, ants also like to swarm from their nests at night time, which can present a problem for homeowners and certain types of businesses.
How long do ants live?
Ants can live for about one to six months. The queen ant will live up to seven years, with males living just a few weeks and females living from one to four years. Worker ants will have their lifespan depend on how hard they work as well as the efficiency of their body.
Where do ants go in the winter?
Ants in the UK typically nest underground where they can be protected from cold temperatures. When winter approaches, ants go deeper underground to escape the cold and live on their stored food. A few months after winter ends, new queens will emerge from hibernation and start looking for males to mate with before spring arrives.
It’s important to know that ants are cold-blooded so their body temperature is dictated largely by their environment.In the warmer months, ant colonies usually do a lot of work outside digging tunnels, caring for their young and collecting food. When winter arrives, they will start storing up food in preparation for their long submersion underground during the cold months ahead.
What does an ant nest look like?
Ants build their nests underground in colonies. They make use of small dirt particles, leaves, twigs, and stems to form a ball that’s typically around a foot across. It has two entrances that lead to the queen’s chamber. The ants will sometimes take fragments from their old nests and put them into their new one for an added layer of protection.
How are queen ants born?
Queens ants are born like all other ants, they are typically born when a larva grows to be a pupa. When the pupa is mature, it will break through its cocoon. It will then release from its larval form, and turn into an adult ant. The key difference between a queen and an other ant is that the queen is capable of mating.
So if the question is; what makes a queen ant a queen ant? Then the answer is that no one knows for certain. Because queens are the only reproductive members of their colonies, biologists have spent a lot of time trying to figure out how they come into being. It’s been thought that when some ants reach about age three, their hormones change and they become fertile, but new studies of older ants show that fertility isn’t a sign of ant age. Instead, it could be related to her genetics or social status. But these are all just guesses.
How big do queen ants get?
A queen ant can get pretty big. As larve, young queens start out small, no more than a millimeter in size. They grow bigger as they age and develop their wings. In fact, the biggest queen ants are 4 to 5 centimeters in length from head to abdomen.
How many queen ants are in a colony?
A typical colony of ants usually has just one queen at any one time. Sometimes however, the colony will have more than one queen over the lifespan of the colony if the old queen dies. In such case, it will take the worker ants between 6 and 8 months to elect a new queen.
What attracts ants?
Ants are attracted to food, sugar, and moisture. In the UK, ants are usually found in buildings where food is served. Once ants find a way into your building, they stay there and create more colonies. You should always keep all of your food in sealed containers or bags. Sugar must also be kept in sealed containers because if it spills on the countertop, ants will overtake the area quickly. If you notice ants entering your building, head inside and see what may have attracted them.
How to get rid of ants?
There are many effective ways to get rid of ants. Some people use borax to kill ants by putting it on the ground or in their garden. It is an insecticide that is slow-acting, so it takes time for the ants to die. Others use a vegetable oil and dish soap solution that kills ants by acting as a lubricant, which suffocates them. They like the taste of the oil and will ingest it while they are carrying the dish soap back to their nest.
Why not save yourself the hassle of trying to kill ants, and instead get the professionals in to do it for you. Merlin specialises in helping UK businesses get pest problems under control quickly, and ant pest control is one of our specialties. Click the button below to get in touch today.