Does Weather Cause Ant Infestations?
Weather has an impact on the behavior of every pest out there, including ants, even though they try to mitigate the effects of extreme weather as much as possible. For example, ants try to build their colonies deep inside underground so that cold does not affect them as much, and they store food in order to survive seasons when food is scarcer. Despite this, some weather fluctuations are so extreme that even ants have to seek shelter, which is when they enter our homes.
A lot of pest infestations occur during late autumn and winter due to the lower temperatures. Rats and mice for example will be desperate to get indoors for some warmth. Ants are insects, so they do not have as high of a temperature requirement as mammals, but if the temperatures get too low, they will evacuate their colony and try to find warmer areas as well. This can lead them to set up a nest in wall voids, the garage or basement.
While ants do not try to avoid heat, heat will hype up their metabolism, and cause them to consume more energy while working harder. This can raise the frequency with which they enter the home looking for food, so during the summer, you may notice more ants in the home trying to forage.
Heavy rainfall can flood ant colonies, but the ants have a solution for this situation. The workers will link their bodies together, forming a living raft, which will float above the water carrying the queen, the eggs, and the brood. If the raining continues, they will be forced to seek shelter on higher ground or indoors.
During drought, the ants will pick up the queen and the brood and travel closer to a water source. Usually this means finding a larger body of water nearby, but if there is a leaky pipe or high humidity in the home, they may build their new colony indoors or closer to the building.
Preventing and controlling ant infestations
It can be difficult to stop ant infestations from happening, but there are some methods that can lower the odds of an infestation from happening or from spreading. In terms of control, ant infestations are usually removed using baits or insecticides. If you have any questions about how ants are prevented and controlled, or if you have an ant infestation on your property, contact us today.