Where Does Ants Go in the Winter?

Despite their common appearance, ants are actually extremely hardy creatures. They have evolved unique ways to survive the cold winter months.

To stay warm during winter, ants are able to generate extra warmth by clustering. Ants may nest in accumulations of debris or decomposing leaves. They will also look for places that provide stable temperatures. Ants may also take cover in businesses to avoid the cold.

Most ant species prefer to keep warm during the winter months. Some ants build colonies underneath rocks in the winter. Carpenter ants may clump up in wood that is porous.

When the weather begins to become cold, ants will enter a dormant phase. This is called diapause. Ants may appear sluggish during this time. They don’t need to eat or drink during this phase.

Some ants, such as wood ants, may split into loose colonies in the winter. These colonies plan for all of the possible problems that could occur. They also build huge dirt mounds to keep warm.

When the weather begins to warm up, ants will reopen their entrance. The ants will then start to eat. They feed off of carbohydrates and proteins that they stored in the fall. They will also eat insect eggs, fruit, and aphid milk.

They don’t need to care for their young during this period. Some ant species convert body fluids into glycerol, a substance that prevents ice crystals from forming. Glycerol also helps ants regulate their body temperature in the cold winter months.