Carpenter Ants In The Winter?

By now everyone knows that having carpenter ants is not a good thing, but most people think ants, especially carpenter ants, are only a spring/summer problem. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

Carpenter Ant by schizoform
Carpenter Ant by schizoform
Licensed by CC BY 2.0

Plenty of unsuspecting homeowners have carpenter ant colonies residing within their homes year round. In fact, as a general rule our company always gets a call right around the holidays from a homeowner who is perplexed as to why they see ants while there is snow on the ground.

The key to knowing if you have a winter ant problem is actually quite simple.

Do you see ants? If so, you have them.

Winter ant control can be very difficult. Carpenter ant colonies are usually found in areas that are warm and wet, but in the winter they are found in obscure areas like hollow doors, shower rods, under cabinets or, my favorite: stored basement items.

The difficulty in finding winter ant colonies is that there aren’t as many foragers so there may be very little evidence to show where the colony is located. Typically, when our service staff is looking for a colony, we will interview the homeowner and look in all the typical places ants are found (i.e., moisture areas, under showers, behind basement insulation, windows and door frames). Once the “usual” places have been exhausted, we need to get creative.

A good trick I’ve found is to “feed” foragers a drop of water or put out a piece of cooked pasta. Many times the ants will “hit” these items and then it’s simply a matter of following the ants back to the nest.

Once the colony has been found, the extermination of the ants is usually a simple matter of drilling into the location where the ants are and treating it with a labeled insecticide.

If you’re having trouble with winter ant control, Envirocare Pest Control can help.  Call 1-888-879-6481.