Why are ants in the house during winter?
Many homeowners are under the impression that bugs all die off or go into a hibernation of sorts as cold weather sets in, only to find themselves dealing with an infestation of ants in the house during winter. While many pests spend the winter months in diapause, a dormant state that helps them survive the cold temperatures, others will seek out shelter that offers more favorable living conditions, like in your warm home.
Keep reading to learn more about why you may have ants inside your home during the winter and how you can effectively get rid of them.
Why Are Ants in the House During Winter?
Though winter ant activity is relatively minimal compared to the summer, ants are hard workers and will often forgo a dormant phase to keep their colony alive. Therefore, they may take up residence in your home as they seek out warmer temperatures, food, moisture and shelter.
Common places for ants to position their colonies are quiet, protected areas like the inner house wall or areas of easy access like within door or window frames. Other places you’ll often spot ants are near food sources, like in cabinets or under kitchen appliances where food crumbs can collect.
What Attracts Ants Indoors?
Ants are attracted to what all living species need to survive: food, water, warmth and shelter. Things around the house that ants often target include:
- Food crumbs or scraps on floors, counters, or sinks
- Pet food or water bowls
- Sugary smells
- Damp areas or standing water
- Poorly sealed doors or windows
How to Prevent an Ant Infestation
To keep ants under control, it’s important to address the issue as soon as possible. The larger the colony grows, the more difficult extermination can be.
Here are some ways you can prevent ants from taking up residence in your home this winter:
- Eliminate sources of standing water, like leaky pipes or faucets
- Never leave damp clothes or towels on the floor
- Store bread and other dried goods in airtight containers
- Keep fruit stored in the fridge
- Wipe down any syrup and honey containers after use
- Clean food spills immediately and thoroughly
- Don't leave pet food on the floor
- Rinse any recycled food containers, especially soda cans, before placing in a bin
- Make sure all your windows and doors are properly closed and sealed
If you already have an ant infestation on your hands, the best way to get rid of them is by calling pest control professionals who have experience with ants. Though the internet boasts plenty of “foolproof” DIY pest control methods, most are ineffective and can be potentially harmful to your family and pets.
Get Rid of Ants — Once and For All
Even if you’ve followed every ant prevention tip, these determined pests are tough to keep away. For pest control services around the Washington, DC metro area, contact the 5-Star Technicians at CroppMetcalfe to handle your infestation. Call or schedule a pest control appointment online today!