What happens to ants during the winter?

scalyOctober 17, 2006

I have lots of ants all over my 2 acre property in south east MA. I probably have a few different varieties as well. Where do all these ants go for the winter? Do they die or just stay in the ground?

Just curious. As long as they don't come into the house I'm fine.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

In your location, many (not all) of the adult generation of worker ants will die as cold settles in and food supplies dwindle. However, the queen and many of her workers, as well as eggs and pupae will over winter in fine shape. No menfolk allowed. Ants (female) can live for two or three years, and a queen can live for many years. Some ant species are known to nest near homes to take advantage of heat sources.

Be glad that you don't live down south, where fire ant colonies will often combine during the winter to form huge super communities.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 8:25AM
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Thank you. Yeh there are some good things about living in the north. One of them is not having the types of ants you describe and some other nasty critters. I just have to watch out for termites.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2006 at 12:18PM
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