Why Are There Ants In My Oklahoma City Home In The Winter?

January 28, 2021

As Oklahoma City residents get ready for winter, it’s hard to know what to expect. We never know if we’re going to freeze our butts off every day, or if it’s going to be 50 degrees and muggy for three months. That’s part of the city’s charm, or so we like to tell ourselves. Maybe that’s why no one ever seems prepared for snow. However, there is one thing you can prepare for this winter: ants.

carpenter ant crawling in a garden

Winter Ant Activities

Everyone has a different way to cope with a drop in temperature, and ants are an interesting case. As the temperature drops, so does their internal body temperature, making them incredibly sluggish. The ants stuck outside will move around very slowly, searching for somewhere warmer to thaw back out. That’s why you might see fewer ants in your home in the wintertime…  or you may see more.
 
The ants who like to prepare in advance and seek warm shelter before the temperature drops may wind up in your house before they get slowed down. If you’re witnessing ant activity in your home, it’s most likely because they already had a colony established within the structures of your house and are now rummaging inside for food sources rather than outside.
 
One of the most common ant species that will do this to our Oklahoma City homes is the carpenter ant. Earning their name from their affinity for nesting within the wooden structures of our home, these ants will enjoy the warm harbor of your home during the winter and invade your kitchen in search of food since they are stuck inside. Carpenter ants will not only contaminate your food stores, but they’ll also do significant damage to the wooden structures in your home, potentially costing you hundreds of dollars’ worth of repairs.

Prevention Strategies

As you prepare for the winter, keep in mind that ant infestations are tough to eradicate once they gain a foothold, so ant prevention should be near the top of your list of things to do on your property. The best way to prevent ant activity and prevent carpenter ants from nesting within your walls is by adhering to the following tips:

  • Address moisture issues that can lead to wood rot (very inviting for carpenter ants).

  • Trim back trees to keep ants from crawling up to your roof.

  • Seal up cracks and crevices around the home with caulking.

  • Store your food and trash properly.

  • Wipe down counters/tables and vacuum/mop your floors regularly.

Seeing The Signs

Now, if you’ve already got ants in your home, they can be very difficult to get rid of, especially carpenter ants. For most species of ants, the best way to notice their activities is by simply seeing the scout ants searching through your home. Even spotting just a few ants during the winter means that you most likely have an ant colony somewhere within your walls. Signs of carpenter ant activity, however, often include:

  • Sawdust on the floor by the baseboards

  • Tightening of doors/windows due to internal damage

  • Wings shed by flying carpenter ants

  • Holes in your wooden structures due to nesting

Either way, no matter what kind of ant species you’re dealing with this winter, it’s going to be nearly impossible to get rid of them on your own. Ant baits/traps often lead to inconsistent results and will be a waste of money in the long run. The only real reliable way to get rid of an ant infestation within the home, especially carpenter ants, is with professional assistance. Call Dandi Guaranty today to get ready for winter the right way.

Tags: ant control | ant prevention | problems caused by ants |

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