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How Do Ants Survive Winter? Know More!

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Where Do Ants Hide In The Winters?

Are you on the lookout for finding possible answers to the way ants survive chill climates? You might be someone who researches about ants or someone who depends on ants working on the soil and supporting vegetation of crops. You might also be someone who is fed up with the pesky ants and trying to find their whereabouts in the winter season. Whatever might be your reason, we have all the answers you need compiled up in this article! Here you will know about the different options ants use for keeping themselves safe and also store food to feed on during the winter days.

Ants In Winters
Ants are often seen almost everywhere in all the seasons, be it summer, autumn or spring. But, they are not seen around during the winter days. During autumn and spring reasons, they can be seen scurrying in and out of their nests. But, when the winters creep in, the entrances remain closed, and ants are not seen around. The entry gets shut as the ants need not get outside in the cold climate and hence, the traffic to and fro from the nest also reduces.

Adapting To The Winter
So, how do the ants get adjusted to the temperature change? The temperature of the ant’s body also changes corresponding to the atmospheric changes. During winters, their body temperature also reduces, and they start moving sluggishly. Ants usually eat food more during the autumn season so that they grow fat. This helps them to withstand the cold winters without much food.

  • Crop
    Ants have a special portion on their stomachs called crop. They can store food needed to pass winter inside that crop area.
  • Seeds Of Plants
    The species Messor aciculatus often carries seeds of plants into their nest and store it there. When the winter season comes, the ants stay safe inside their nests and feed on the seeds stored inside it. Other ant species won’t store food in their nests.
  • Lower Temperatures Necessary For Exiting Diapause!
    It is believed that the ant colonies need to be exposed to a temperature range below fifteen degrees centigrade for almost sixty days so that they can exit the diapause period. If the temperature does not drop, then the ants will continue in a suspended state for a longer duration.

Do Ants Hibernate In Winter? Find Your Answers Here!

Yes, ants do go on a hibernated and less active state during the winter season. Let us take a look at how ants hide during the cold climate:

Under The Ground
Certain wood ants, called Formica can change the nest structure and can also open up a new window that can help in regulating the temperature inside the ant nest. The large mound of sand also acts as collectors of solar energy. Thus, it increases the temperature inside the nest. If the temperature drops too low, then the wood ants will go further deep inside the soil, below the line of frost.

In The Woods
Diapause is the state of slow metabolism in ants. During this stage, the queen ant will stop laying her eggs. The worker ants will eat more during autumn and hence will have larger fat deposited bodies. The gasters on their body will swell due to the deposit of fat. The worker ants will start aggregating much more than their usual self. In a study conducted at New York, on two species of ants, namely the Camponotus novaeboracensis and Camponotus pennsylvanicus, the larval stage of the ant was observed to be overwintered inside the nest. The pupae and eggs were not found.

If you observe carpenter ant trails inside your home during winters, then that is a clear indication that they are nesting inside the walls or floors of your home. Even when the outside temperatures are cold, the heat from the furnace, fireplaces or sun can keep the walls of the house warmer. This helps in stirring the dormant stage activities and keeps them active.

The Acorn Ants
These are ants that find solace inside the acorns during winters. These ants are tinier than other ants and often form smaller colonies. Now, you might wonder why these ants need to get inside acorns instead of hiding underground. The reason suggested is that the spring acorns are found only rarely. Hence, if the ants stay inside it during winters, then they get a safe home during summers too.

Know The Hiding Spots Of Black Ants In The Winter

Getting to know the hiding spots of black ants and other ant species can help you spot them easily in the cold climates. They can hibernate in the warmer spots like barks of trees or inside the soil. The Camponotus obscuripes female ant species usually hibernate inside the barks of withered trees during winters.

The Winter Ants
A species of ants named Prenolepis imparis is popularly called a winter ant because it can often be seen running around even in freezing temperatures. In the North Florida region, the ants get active in November to March. After that, the worker ants will seal up the nests in the underground areas. They won’t step outside after the fall season. Hence, these species of ants do almost the exact opposite of other insects.

Under Rocks
Some ants build colonies under big rocks. They make use of the rock to get the sun’s heat. Other ant species are seen building large mounds with special tunnels inside it. These tunnels will collect heat from the outside environment. Some ants make use of the heat inside the leaves that have started to decompose.

When The Winters Are Not Severe!
Some regions do not have winter seasons. Hence, ants living in hot or tropic areas won’t react to cold climates. But, they might shut down during the wet or dry seasons. Some of the ants have large type nests that have inbuilt ventilation mechanisms. This helps in maintaining a uniform humidity level and environment inside the nest throughout the year.

The Ants Can Adapt To Any Situation Easily!
Even though they are tiny creatures, the ants can easily adapt themselves to adjust to any change in the surrounding temperature. They hide and also protect themselves against any adverse situation. They also defend their colony fiercely. Hence, when the winter approaches, they will be safe inside their hideouts waiting for the winters to end. So, never mistake that they are all gone. They will slowly emerge out after the winter season ends!

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