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Are Carpenter Ants Still Active?

carpenter ants

There are more than 600 species of ants crawling around the United States, but if you have large black ants in your Massachusetts home – chances are good you have carpenter ants. Despite the name, these crawling social insects do not actually eat wood (or build anything with it!) but they are able to chew their way through wood to get to where they’re going, damaging furniture and leaving a trail of structural damage behind them.

If you have carpenter ants in your home you must take steps to kick them out to minimize damages. Carpenter ants hibernate when it is cold, releasing a substance that prevents their bodies from freezing. But if they are hibernating in your home, you may wonder if carpenter ants are still active in the fall and winter months. The answer? Yes.

Why Carpenter Ants Are Active in the Winter

When the southern, warmest side of your home starts to heat up in a mild winter – carpenter ants may wake up from their winter slumber and begin to search for food and water. They are confused and think it is spring time! Ants that are nesting within interior walls may never fully go dormant – meaning you can see these ants marching along the corridors of your home all winter long. Carpenter ants living in your Massachusetts home during the winter are simply unaffected by the weather and will continue to cause damages to your home.

Life Cycle of Carpenter Ants

Ants live in colonies. If you see one ant in your home, you can bet you have many more nesting somewhere nearby. The queen produces eggs while the worker ants head out to find crumbs your family may have left behind. By late spring or early summer, winged carpenter ants leave the nest in search of their mates. The males die after mating while the females lose their wings and start the search for a new nest site. Once her home has been created, the female carpenter ant seals herself into a tiny cavity of space and lays about 15 eggs. They change from larvae to adult ants and the cycle carries on.

How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are a year-round problem. To prevent an ant infestation, eliminate all sources of foods by storing leftovers in tightly sealed glass or plastic containers. Clean any spills immediately. Repair ripped screens and seal all openings into your home. If this isn’t enough to prevent carpenter ants from entering your home, you should call Big Blue Bug Solutions for professional carpenter ant control and elimination.