Finally, spring is just about here! And you know that means ants. This is the time of year when they start to wake up. A lot of people have asked me where ants go in the winter – and while there are plenty of good guesses, we finally have an answer. Just like we thought, they kind of hibernate.
It turns out that many types of ants “fatten up” in the fall and then their bodies produce a type of alcohol that acts as an anti-freeze. They burrow in wall voids, under rocks or other protected spaces, and wrap themselves around the queen in order to protect her from the cold. When it starts to warm up the ants on the inside of this protective ball move to the outer layer to clean away the ants that didn’t survive. These dead ants will be the first source of a protein meal for the others. Kind of like the Donner Party. (Google it if you missed that day in history class.) And next thing you know, YOU have ant trails in your kitchen.
If you want to avoid ants this season start looking around your home for ant activity. Check the posts on your porch, or cracks in your foundation or under rocks in your flowerbeds. I bet you will find some trails, especially on a sunny afternoon. This is the best time to prevent problems inside. If we can get to them before the babies are hatched, we can cut down dramatically on infestations in your home.
If you’d like more information or an assessment for control, I’m always happy to talk to you. So get in touch!