Have you ever noticed that ants only come out once the weather begins to warm up? Because ants are cold-blooded, their bodies react to the temperature outside. Cooler temperatures cause their body temperatures to drop significantly, which causes them to become sluggish. This means that during winter, they need to find a warm place to hibernate in order to survive. Continue reading to learn more about what ants do to survive wintertime.
Leading Up to Winter
Much like bears, ants attempt to put on weight to help them survive hibernation. They eat as much food as possible in the fall and survive off of excess carbohydrates, fats, and proteins that they have stored as they lie dormant in the wintertime, waiting for spring to arrive.
Hibernating in Homes
As the provide optimum conditions, food, moisture, and favorable temperatures, houses make perfect shelters for ants in search of a place to hibernate. You may not ever even realize when ants move into your home during winter because they tend to hide away in your walls or underneath your floors. It is not uncommon for carpenter ants, ghost ants, dark rover ants, white-footed ants, and acrobat ants to be found in homes during winter.
Other Hibernation Locations
If they aren’t able to make their way inside a home for winter, ants have plenty of other ways to survive.
Rocks: Sometimes, ants will nest in spaces underneath rocks in the winter. Because rocks heat up under the sun, they produce warmth, which keeps ants alive until spring.
Decomposing leaves: Fallen and decomposing leaves provide adequate shelter for ants and keep them warm.
Tree bark: Ants are also able to dig underneath bark and use it as shelter in winter. This helps them to survive the harsh weather conditions of winter.
Deep holes: Ants will sometimes dig holes and nest deep into the ground.
Staying close together: When nesting outside, ants will cluster together to generate extra heat and stay warm.
Reemerging in the Spring
Once spring rolls around and the weather begins to warm up, worker ants leave their shelters in search of food. As soon as the workers find food, they head back to alert their colonies. They leave trails of scent, which leads their colonies to the food source. This is why we see large trails of ants in our yards or homes.
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