Ant Problems in the Winter

Group of ants

Wintertime usually offers a respite from pests in the Gainesville and Centreville area. When cold temperatures and the occasional snow cause many pests to die off, others overwinter, a process similar to hibernation in mammals. Despite not seeing so many pests outdoors, many homeowners wonder why they seem to see more ants in their kitchens than at other times of year.

The culprit here is usually the odorous house ant. These tiny black ants are good at getting into homes in the winter and they can be nearly impossible to get out on your own. Here is a little insight on why odorous house ants are such a problem in the winter and how you can prevent them.

Understanding Odorous House Ants

Ants are an insect that overwinters as temperatures start to drop. They will try to find a warm place such as buried deep into soil or beneath tree bark. Depending on the species of ants, their body temperatures drop and they move very little in order to make it through the winter on a limited amount of food.

But if an odorous house ant colony can find a place that is consistently warm – the inside of your home for instance – their body temperature will heat back up and they will stay active all winter long if possible.

The main reason why odorous house ants are such a significant issue in winter is their tendency to move their entire colony when scout ants find a place with dependable warmth and food. Each colony can contain up to 10,000 ants, so when you see these house ants inside, there are likely thousands more nearby.

The best way to deal with ants is to prevent them from getting inside in the first place with prevention methods like:

  • Regularly clean kitchens and any areas where you eat to remove spills and crumbs that could attract ants.
  • Do not leave pet food out overnight or pet food containers unsealed.
  • Take garbage out regularly.
  • Use caulk or petroleum jelly to seal up small holes around your home where ants can get in.
  • If you see one or two ants, use a sponge with soapy water to kill them and eliminate their scent trail.

You can also consider preventative pest control DIY with options such as laying baits before you start noticing winter ant infestations. Monthly pest control from ExtermPRO can also reduce the risk of an ant infestation year round by creating barriers around your home that keep ants out.

For homeowners already dealing with an infestation of odorous house ants, you will want to contact ExtermPRO for ant extermination. Our professional treatment is the best way to identify the issue, locate the colonies, and get rid of ants in your home. Contact us today to learn more.

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