Even though it is cold outside, summer picnics are long gone, snow may be in the forecast, many homeowners continue to have winter ant problems. Are ants crawling across your kitchen counter, floor or windows? Are you finding ant trails around bathroom sinks, floor, bathtub or walls? It’s not uncommon for ants to continue to bug homeowners during the cold winter.
Winter ant problems may be a sign that you have an ant colony living in your walls. Ants do not usually build their colony inside your home. The main ant colony is usually located outside in the ground in your yard. Foraging ants will enter your home, especially in the warm months, seeking food. Ant colonies become less active as cold weather arrives and ants will go into a hibernation mode. However, a satellite colony inside your home, often near the kitchen or bathroom, can remain active during the cold winter months. These ants will continue to forage for food in our kitchen or other parts of your home throughout the winter as long as the walls remain warm. A satellite ant colony may also go into hibernation until things warm up if that part of your home gets cold.
Though ants’ primary focus may be on food from your kitchen, ants can also cause significant damage to wood, drywall and other areas of the structure.
The best way to prevent ant problems is by preventing what is attracting them. Seal up food, clean dishes, counter surfaces and tables after eating. Avoid leaving a sink full of dishes over night or for any extended period.
Tips for Preventing Winter Ant Problems:
- Do not leave pet food out except during mealtimes.
- Seal flour, cereal and other pantry products in plastic bags or containers.
- Store fruit in the refrigerator or in sealed bags or containers.
- Vacuum and clean floors regularly.
- Wipe down counters or areas where you are seeing ant trails with cleaning products that contain bleach or ammonia to eliminate those ant highways.
Cleaning can help prevent or eliminate ants, but winter ant problems can be difficult to eliminate. A professional exterminator or pest control professional can help identify sources of problems, locate and eliminate indoor satellite ant colonies. A pest control professional can also help seal and protect your home from other pest problems as well as seal up gaps that could be wasting energy.