The last thing you want to see in your house is a colony of ants marching freely. Ants marching in your home is a common phenomenon after the rains, but why does this happen? This article will help you figure out why they’ve come into your house and what to do about them.
Ants come into your house when it rains to seek shelter from the rain. These small insects have to act fast when the weather changes, this means hiding out in your dry home while it’s raining out.
Why do ants come in the house when it rains? A helpful guide
No one wants their home riddled with ants but when it rains this can happen.
The effect that rain has is much more drastic on ants than on humans so they need drastic measures to get away from the rain. Unfortunately, these drastic measures include leaving their nest to seek shelter in your house.
The main reason that ants flood your house when it rains is to seek refuge and shelter.
The rain, even if it is light to humans, has the potential to flush out ant colonies. These tiny insects can’t swim, they have to leave their homes and look for dry land in order to survive.
Thankfully not all ants will enter your home looking for shelter after a downpour of rain. Some ants will resort to building their nests up when signs of rain come along. The type of ants that do this are fire ants. After the rain, they work with the moist soil and clean up their mounds.
Rain affects different ants differently. Depending on which location you are in, the ants will either thrive in rainy weather or will be deterred by it. Some ants will thrive in wet conditions. Other ants will seek shelter in your home if they come into contact with rain.
Why are there so many ants after it rains?
If you know anything about ants you’ll likely know that if you see a couple of ants out and about then there are likely much more hiding out. Many of these ants may have come from a colony in and around your home.
When the rain comes, all the ants may make their way to a dry location, that being your home. They’re simply looking for shelter until the rain subsides. Your home is a dry accessible source of shelter for them.
However, their movement depends on how heavy the rains are, ants won’t leave their nests over a light drizzle. But they will if they experience a heavy downpour of rain, a rain that can flood their nests.
Do ants come out more when it rains?
Yes, unfortunately, ants come out more when it rains. When it rains the ants get flushed out of their nests as the rain drenches the soil and floods their nests.
For this reason, they need to come out and find a suitable and dry place to go, this can sometimes be your house. Because our homes are dry locations with food and shelter they usually find their way into our houses.
When it isn’t raining, the majority of ants can be found in the nest, creating tunnels and feeding their young. This all stops when it’s raining and ants come out of the nest.
Note: If they realize that your home is a suitable place to stay, more suitable than going back to their nest, then you will have an ant infestation on your hands.
This is when you’d need to start sealing your foods, cleaning all your crumbs, and using measures to get them out of your space
How to prevent an ant infestsation from happening:
In order to prevent an infestation from happening, you’d need to eliminate all entrances that ants might have to your home. You also need to remove or close off areas where ants can nest and call home. This will entail:
- Trimming any vegetation that ants can use as bridges into your house. Cut the vegetation so there is a 3-6 inch gap between all vegetation and your house.
- Check for any cracks or small openings on or around your door or window frames, if you find cracks then seal the cracks up with caulking or sealant.
- Remove any possible ant shelters close to your home, this can include trash outside or piles of leaves
- Make sure that wood is stored far away from your house, ants can use them as nesting spots.
- Your home’s foundation needs to be free from cracks and openings which could allow ants inside.
How do you get rid of ants when it rains?
If ants find their way into your house after a storm then you should remember that even if you only see a couple of ants, there is a whole colony nearby. Killing them off one by one will not get you anywhere.
You would need more large-scale solutions to kill off the colony especially the queen. If not they can do some serious damage to your house These solutions will include:
Borax: Leave borax mixed with powdered sugar out for the ants. The ants will eat this up and bring it back to the colony, the colony will eat it up and be poisoned.
Diatomaceous earth: Mix some diatomaceous earth with some powdered sugar and leave it out for the ants. The ants will eat this up and their bodies will be cut up by the sharp shards of the diatomaceous earth. This earth is non-harmful to humans but is very dangerous to ants.
Baby powder: Leave some baby powder in areas where you frequently see ants entering the house. Ants aren’t fond of this powder and will avoid coming close to it. This is a good safe way to repel the ants.
Essential oils: Using essential oils is another great way to get rid of ant infestations. Peppermint oil is another great ant deterrent. If you use this oil directly on the ants it will kill them, if you use it at entrances the ants will be repelled. Clove oil can also be used against ants, you can use it to kill off dangerous fire ants
Repellents: Store-bought products are great at getting rid of ants. These products are usually very strong and will be able to keep whole colonies of ants away. When looking for a store-bought repellent, look for a product that ends with “thrin”, for example: bifenthrin and cypermethrin. This is a great ant repellent that you can apply as a perimeter spray to keep ants away.
Ant bait: An easy way to get rid of ants is by using ant bait. Ant bait allows you to kill more than one ant at a time with minimal effort. Ant baits are products that ants are attracted to, they see it as food. In reality, the “food” is laced with ant poison. The premise of the bait is for the ants to take the bait back to the colony and share it with the others this ensures that the whole colony becomes poisoned.
Ant trails: Ants communicate through pheromones, they leave trails wherever they walk, these trails lead other ants to food sources. To remove these trails mix one part vinegar and 3 parts water and combine the mixture into a spray bottle. Spray this mixture where you see ants.
You can also use over-the-counter options to get rid of ants, this article has some great options to choose from.
How do other types of ants stay dry?
- Certain ants decide to stay in their colonies when it rains, this is achieved by the use of air bubbles. Air bubbles stored in the ant’s chambers keeps them dry even in floods.
- Some ants create a raft using the ants themselves. The raft will consist of the adult bodies, larvae, and pupae. The raft will float on the water until it finds dry ground.
- Some ants will tunnel deeper into the ground, if water gets in then the water will sink deep into the groundwater.
- Bamboo ants create nests in bamboo twigs which are able to float on water
- Some species of ants will block the entrances of the colonies with either rocks, twigs, dirt, or even their heads.
- Other ants will try to find a higher ground where they will wait until the rain stops and the land is dry enough for them to walk on.
What season do ants come out?
Ants generally come out in the spring. You can likely find ants in your home all through the year but spring is the time they will really become a problem.
The springtime is when they’ll be out looking for a place to grow their colony. Even if they don’t create a colony in your home, they will look for food to bring back to their colony.
You’d need to ant-proof your home before they emerge in numbers during this season.
Will ants leave if there is no food?
The three main reasons why ants enter your home are to find food, shelter, and moisture.
Even if you keep your foodstuff locked away, there is still a chance ants will come into your house and stay if the other two survival needs are met.
They may still stay even if there is no food. If they can find a comfortable shelter in your home and bring food in from elsewhere they will.
They may even come into your home because they sense that there are other ants in your home. Ants follow the scent of other ants. Ant’s leave a scent trail that helps other ants find food.
They may also flock into your home if there is moisture. All animals need moisture and ants are just the same. Make sure to keep moisture to a minimum in your home if you don’t want an infestation.
Do dead ants attract more ants?
Yes, dead ants attract more ants. Ants communicate through the chemicals they emit. These chemicals are signals to other ants. When you kill one and it releases a hormone that lets the others know that it is dead.
The live ants come and get the dead ant. They move it away from the colony for health and safety reasons. Because of this, yes, dead ants attract more ants.
As long as your home does not offer shelter, water or food then the ants will take their tiny friend and move along. If your home does offer food, shelter, or water then the ants may infest your home after coming to get their nestmate.
Where do ants carry their dead?
To keep the rest of the colony healthy, ants and other insects remove their dead nestmates from the colony.
The ants remove the dead nestmate and put them in a dead ant pile away from the colony. Dead ants cause the whole colony to suffer and die off because they result in more microorganisms in colonies. This causes the other ants in the colony to die.
Is it bad to have ants in your house?
Yes, it is bad to have ants in your house. If you have any wood structural elements in your home the ants can cause some serious damage to it.
Carpenter ants are naturally drawn to dead decomposing trees. If they get into your wood structures they can eat at it and cause it to become weak. This can be very dangerous.
They can also become dangerous if they get into your food supplies. Ants can carry a number of bacterial diseases as they pick up germs and bacteria as they go about their day.
These insects can contaminate your food with e.coli, salmonella, streptococcus, and shigella. If you think you have an ant infestation in your home you need to get rid of it as soon as possible
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