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What Happens To South Portland Carpenter Ants In Winter?


Many insects disappear during our cold Maine winters. Stinging insects, such as hornets, die off when the temperatures drop. Mosquitoes hibernate. But what about ants? We certainly don’t see them in the winter much, so does that mean they’re dead or hibernating? What exactly happens to South Portland carpenter ants in winter?

Carpenter Ants Outdoors

Believe it or not, carpenter ants don’t die off or hibernate. When living outside, even in a cold state like Maine, they build their colony far enough underground that they reside below the frost line. When winter comes, they slow down; not to hibernation levels, but definitely to a point where they’re more sluggish than during the warm months.

In the fall, carpenter ants instinctually eat more, knowing that they may not have a food supply in the winter. This extra bulk, coupled with their slower movement, keeps them alive through the winter until they can eat again and become more active in the spring.

Carpenter Ants Indoors

While carpenter ants living in outdoor colonies are not as active in winter, that’s not the case for carpenter ants who have the good fortune of finding an indoor location in which to dwell. As long as carpenter ants have a warm enough climate and a steady food source, they will remain as active as they are during summer.

This is bad news for homeowners in South Portland because it means that if you have a carpenter ant infestation, they will work away at the wood structures in your home throughout the year until they have caused extensive damage. The only hope of stopping them is to either realize that they’re there and eliminate them or prevent them from coming inside in the first place.

How to Know if Carpenter Ants Have Invaded Your South Portland Home

While carpenter ants are quite good at working for months or years completely unnoticed, there are signs of their presence if you know what to look for.

  • Holes. Carpenter ants can’t just eat away at wood structures without getting into them. If you see small holes in wood beams or other wooden structures, carpenter ants may have created them.
  • Sawdust. Carpenter ants like to keep their tunnels clean. If you see small piles of sawdust near wood structures, it could be from carpenter ants.
  • Ants. Of course, the most obvious sign of a carpenter ant infestation is seeing the ants themselves. Carpenter ants are large ants and they sometimes have wings.

What to Do if Carpenter Ants Have Invaded Your South Portland Home

If you see signs of a carpenter ant infestation, call Big Blue Bug Solutions right away. Carpenter ants can cause extensive and expensive damage to your home, even compromising its structural integrity.

Big Blue Bug Solutions can locate the source of your infestation, eliminate the entire ant population, and help you ensure that it does not return. If you suspect carpenter ants are in your home, contact us as soon as possible so we can take care of the problem for you.