Is It Possible to Have a Carpenter Ant Infestation in Winter?

Is It Possible to Have a Carpenter Ant Infestation in Winter_

If there is anything favourable to be said about Canadian winters, it’s that a good, hard freeze kills off destructive insects — or does it? If you have been putting off treatment for carpenter ants in your home, thinking you only need to wait for winter, you should think again. Cold weather is not enough to stop these harmful insects, and professional carpenter ant removal in Waterloo is the only effective way to eliminate them during any season of the year.

Winter Adaptations of Insects

Insects are cold-blooded animals. This means they do not create their own internal warmth the way warm-blooded animals such as cats and dogs do. Instead, they rely on sources of heat from the environment to survive and perform all their bodily functions, including movement, digestion of food and reproduction. When the external temperature is cold, insect body processes slow down and eventually come to a standstill.

Insects employ various strategies to get through the winter. Adult crickets, for example, die in the winter after laying cold-resistant eggs that will hatch in spring. Some butterflies and dragonflies behave like many humans and simply head south to warmer climates. Other species migrate short distances, finding sheltered microclimates in mud, trees or buildings where they can survive in a mostly dormant, or quiescent, state.

Carpenter Ant Behaviour

In the wild, carpenter ants shelter in place for the winter, emerging in spring to lay eggs and expand their colonies. When nesting inside a home, however, they do not change their behaviour with the seasons. Instead, the warm indoor air prolongs their activity throughout the winter. Even those cutting large segments of wood and nesting in cold crannies of a basement or attic not subject to climate control can become warm and start to move around on a sunny winter day.

Carpenter ants do not eat wood the same way termites do, and they will not tunnel into wooden structures that are healthy and dry. Instead, carpenter ants are attracted to wet and rotten wood into which they can easily burrow. They use it to create tunnels that they can turn into a nest. In nature, they utilize rotten logs but have adapted to using soggy wooden structures in homes such as doorframes, windowsills and walls that contain plumbing for sinks and bathtubs.

Advice for Homeowners

Seeing one or two carpenter ants during the summer or fall is not a reason to panic. Ants will travel up to 100 meters from the nest in search of food, so a few stray individuals may simply be passing through your home or stopping temporarily at a food source. However, noticing them on a consistent basis, especially in winter, is a good indication that they are nesting inside your house.

Locating areas of the dwelling where water is leaking or seeping in is the first step to finding a carpenter ant nest. If you are not aware of any damp areas, look around for piles of sawdust that ants leave behind as they chew through wood to make tunnels. If none are apparent, another way to find a nest is to patiently watch the ants and see where they go. If you are short on time, offering them food will speed up the rate at which they head home.

Carpenter Ant Removal Waterloo

Truly Nolen of Ontario can identify the ants you are seeing, so you know the exact species you are fighting. Our technicians employ an integrated pest management system to uncover carpenter ant nests in even the most hard-to-find locations and then eliminate the colony by killing the queen. The chemicals we use are eco-friendly, so you don’t have to worry about keeping your family and pets safe. Call us to schedule an inspection today.