Why does ant activity increase in May and June?
- As the weather becomes warmer, ant colonies become more active. Ants are cold-blooded insects so their body temperature is influenced by the environment. Warmer temperatures provide them with the necessary energy to be active and forage for food.
- Springtime means more food is available for ants as plants start to bloom and produce nectar, fruits and seeds. Other insects become more active during this time and they can be a food source for ants.
- Ants start to reproduce, expand their colony or creating new colonies.
- Ants are constantly maintaining and expanding their nests. In May, they will repair any damage that occurred during the winter months. As they reproduce they will expand their nest to accommodate the growing population.
What damage do ants cause?
Signs of an ants nest under patio slabs
- Ants tunnel through the sand under patios creating an elaborate network of tunnels which destabilise the paving slabs. As the slabs move the joints become loose providing an opportunity for weeds and moss to grow.
- Ants can damage garden plants and agricultural crops. They feed on seeds, fruits and young shoots which can result in reduced yields or stunted plant growth.
- Ants only enter a property if there is a food source. They carry bacteria, pathogens and parasites on their bodies, potentially transferring them to food preparation surfaces which is a health risk. They can contaminate stored food items in homes, restaurants, and food processing facilities.
Why are ants entering my home?
- Food and water: Ants are particularly attracted to anything sweet so it’s wise to keep the floor clear of crumbs and spills. They also look for a water source such as from a pet’s water bowl or a potted plant. The ant leaves behind a scent trail to mark the way to the food or water source.
- Environmental factors: Heavy rain, flooding or periods of drought can drive ants indoors in search of more stable and hospitable environments.
- Accidental entry: Sometimes ants may simply wander into homes by chance. They can enter through small cracks, gaps or openings in windows, doors or foundations.