Why are There Ants Even if There’s No Food in the House?

You clean every chance you get.

There's not a single bread crumb on the floor.

But why are there still so many ants in the house?

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That’s a reasonable question. And the short answer to that is: there are ants even if there's no food around!

Why?

Well, it’s true that the main reason why ants enter houses is to look for food, but this doesn’t mean that there aren’t any other forces that can invite them. Lucky for you, learning about these forces can better prepare you to protect your home.

Why there are ants even if there’s no food in the house

Ants need more than just food. They also need shelter, safety and moisture. 

To Seek Moisture

If your house is humid, there are ants even if there's no food in sight.

Ants love moisture. They drink water. And if it’s hot and dry outside, you can bet that they’d try to sneak into your house to build a new nest.

Ants love moisture so much that there’s even a specific ant species that infests homes with an exceeding amount of humidity. The moisture ant (Lasius spp.), as it’s aptly called, is a citronella smelling ant that nests in high moisture places. Aside from their weirdly pleasant smell, you can identify them through their characteristically yellow workers. You can also see them nest outside houses, but they can also take residency inside moist wood foundations.

So, if you want to your house to be more ant-proof take steps to stop moisture accumulation. Here are some easy tips that you can follow to regulate the humidity inside your home. It works on termites; it can do wonders for ants too.

To Look for Shelter

It’s the most basic necessity. Every living thing, including ants, needs to stay somewhere, somewhere they can thrive and be safe.

If there are ants even if there's no food and if you’re the type to clean often, then those pesky insects must have discovered your home a long time ago.

There are a lot of instances that can lead to their discovery.

First, it could be a swarmer that found your house. Swarmers are reproductive members of an ant colony. Their only main job is to fly off and build another nest when they reach maturity.

Swarmers can put up a new colony anywhere in your property. The bad news is that for a colony to afford swarmers, your yard or anywhere in your house is most likely already infested with a large number of ants for years. You can look at how swarmers affect your house here.

Finally, your ant problem could just be an unfortunate circumstance. A destroyed nest, rain or snow may have forced those ants relocate into your house. Whatever the case, the bottom line is that ants will invade your house to find better nesting places when they need to.

To Hide from the Terrible Weather

Talking about rain and snow, a study from Stanford has revealed that ants, particularly Argentine ants, invade Californian homes during winter rainstorms and summer droughts.

They found that ants are most likely to infest houses during cold, wet conditions, and they can also do the same for hot and dry months. So the weather plays a key role in infestations. 

Ants’ number one reason in invading human space is food, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the only reason.

You can find ants even if there's no food in the house because they need shelter and moisture. And now that you know this, you can take the necessary measures to keep your humble abode ant-free.

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  • January 3, 2017
  • Ants