Ants Hibernating in Your Toronto Home Over Winter May Soon Stir
As the snow begins to recede this month and the temperatures begin to warm, you may breathe a sigh of relief that spring is finally on the way. That is until ants start to show up in your home!
Ants are coming out of hibernation and have been waiting all winter long to resume their busy work in and around your home again.
Here’s everything you need to know about how ants — especially pesky carpenter ants — operate so you can outsmart them with the help of Greenleaf Pest Control.
What Happens to Ants in Winter?
When temperatures drop below freezing at the end of each year in Toronto, ants seek out warm places to wait out the winter. These places include under rocks, underneath tree bark, and deep in the soil – maybe even the soil near your home.
They huddle in clusters around their queen and shut down most of the traffic in and out of their nest. Then, when the warm weather finally arrives, the ants begin to venture outside again.
This is when they tend to show up the places you don’t want them – like your house. And don’t be fooled, ants don’t need to be visible to you in order to be invading your home.
Spotting a few ants crawling around your kitchen or pantry isn’t a huge deal. These may simply be nesting ants looking for a food source.
Real problems can occur, however, if there’s an entire colony attempting to become established in your home. This is especially true when the colony is filled with arguably the worst species for your property: carpenter ants.
Of course, you won’t know what kind of ants you’re looking at (or how to get rid of them) if you’ve never looked them up…
Common Types of Ants in Toronto
There are several types of ants that live in the Toronto area that a homeowner may deal with. Since it’s valuable to know your enemy, the three most common types of Toronto ant that can cause damage to your domicile are carpenter ants, pavement ants, and European fire ants.
These ants like to nest in wood but don’t get them confused with termites. Where termites eat wood, carpenter ants burrow and nest in it. If they decide to make a wood structure in or around your home their new place of residence, then it can lead to a lot of destruction that can be expensive to repair. Carpenter ants are larger than other types of ants and black, so be on the lookout for them!
Pavement ants like to cozy up under a slab of concrete. You can find these black ants often together in large groups. The worst-case scenario is that they make a home under your home’s concrete foundation, but that’s actually a rare occurrence.
European Fire Ants
These red ants are medium in size and, as their name would suggest, they aren’t a native Canadian species. It’s uncommon to find them inside but they are plentiful in gardens, yards, and parks. While most people dislike having fire ants around because of their sting, the more serious problem presented by European Fire Ants is that they help invasive plant species to spread, crowding out native plant species.
Why Ants Are Choosing Your Home
The more vegetation you have around the edges of your home, the cozier the habitat for ants will be. That’s because vegetation or other clutter traps moisture for the ants and attracts other insects that ants feed on.
Carpenter ants are specifically drawn to water damaged or moist wood, so a deck that isn’t properly sealed can make a nice, attractive shelter for a carpenter ant.
That being said, there are a few things common things that attract ants — every living creature, in fact — to a home: food, water, and shelter.
The warmer the weather becomes outside, the more drawn ants will be to your home to look for water and food. Heat dries up the outside resources they depend on.
Get Ahead of the Ants with Greenleaf Pest Control Services
To keep ants out of your home, keep all the surfaces in your home – especially your kitchen – clear of clutter and clean. Keep all food in properly sealed containers and fix leaky faucets.
The ant and pest removal experts at Greenleaf Pest Control can also help to make sure your home is resistant to ant infestation. To find out more about what can be done to help tackle your ant problem, reach out to the experts at Greenleaf Pest Control.
Our pest removal pros at Greenleaf identify the ant causing you issues, trace the origin of the infestation, find the queen, and develop an effective plan to treat your ant problem for good.
About the Author:
Daniel Mackie, co-owner of Greenleaf Pest Control, is a Toronto pest control expert and a regular guest on HGTV. He is renowned in the industry as an innovator of safe, effective pest control solutions. Mackie and business partner Sandy Costa were the first pest control professionals in Canada to use detection dogs and thermal remediation for the successful eradication of bed bugs. In his free time, he is an avid gardener.