Certain ant species invade thousands of homes in Massachusetts every year, but this year will likely see unusually high populations of the tiny insect pests crawling around and into homes in the state. Ants become more active in the northeast following the winter season, but experts claim that the recent bouts of rainfall in many parts of Massachusetts will cause a massive amount of ants to emerge from the moist soil in search of drier areas to set up camp. Unfortunately, houses, buildings and other structures are the only available areas where ants can locate sufficiently dry conditions.

Most people assume that ants die off during the cold winters in the northeast US, but in reality, ants continue to live beneath the soil’s surface, they just move much more slowly, making ant infestations a non-issue during the winter season. When the snow melts in response to the warm spring climate, ants regain their usual speed of movement and begin to forage. However, the many rainy days that immediately followed the winter season in Massachusetts has made the soil even more saturated with water than usual, causing ants to desperately seek out dry conditions within residential homes in a desperate attempt to locate food. Under these unusually moist outdoor conditions, ant pests gravitate toward garbage cans where food waste is plentiful, and several species are notorious for their brazen habit of infesting kitchen cupboards and pantries. The current ant plague may prompt many residents to purchase DYI bait-traps, but pest control experts claim that ant populations are far too large to be eradicated with this paltry ant-control method; instead, these traps will cause a large ant colony to split into two different colonies, doubling reproduction rates. The most common ant pest species found within and near Massachusetts homes include pavement ants, odorous house ants, sugar ants, and worst of all, wood-infesting carpenter ants.

Have you noticed an abundance of ant species yet this year?