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Thousands of Ants!

Publication date: August 21st, 2017

Why do we have more ants this year?


SOS Bugs Pest Control is receiving numerous calls for Carpenter Ant, Pavement Ant and Odorous Ant problems.  We are often asked why is there so many ants this year?

Milder winter times that we have had in the last years could partly explain why we have more and more ant cases. Very low temperatures (-25 to -40 oC) are much less frequent in winter and these periods are shorter. This allows more ant colonies or satellite nests to survive. In the spring, ant colonies start with very much less mortality. Also, more queens can survive.  Here are other reasons why we have more ants!


A little bit of insect physiology:

The main explication comes from their physiology. Ants are insect like butterflies or lady bugs. It is well known that insects cannot warm their own body temperature. Ants are thermo-dependent creatures. Ants have to warm themselves with available heat sources, such as sunny exposed surfaces; stones, asphalt, brick walls, south side concrete foundation, etc.

2017 spring was much more colder this year forcing many species of ants to regain that time lost.  March and especially April months were very rainy and cold.  The consequence, Ants get late to complete their life cycle. They could have done nothing during those too cold months. Just like us, they missed the sun. Ants search for warmer places around houses, to compensate the cooler weather. In some cases, we can see ant nests in every single hot spot available; patio tiles, under wood planks, in weed roots, in outdoor electric outlets and more. Ants are also invading more houses, searching for warmer temperatures and for food sources.

For insects, the higher the temperature, the faster is the speed of their muscles, brain and metabolism. They can make more eggs, feed more larvae and come to maturity faster; the fertile queen accelerates her egg’s production. The cooler spring has increased the pressure on insects, such as ants, to make up for the time lost, to grow the colony and be ready for the next winter.

Food resources is necessary for ants but in terms of specie’s effectiveness, warm locations to farm faster thousands of young ants are even more important. Ants have to be ready for the next fall and winter, to optimize the survival of their colony. Time runs out fast in Canada, because we have only a few warm months (above 13 oC for ants’ activity).  


Call SOS Bugs if you have Black Carpenter Ant, Pavement Ant, Odorous Ant or any other ant problem. Our biologist will answer your questions and give you recommendations specific to your situation. We have new innovative insecticides like in the US.


Claude Mercier


SOS Bugs