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Where Are Those Pesky Ants Nesting?

By Chris Williams on December 22, 2014.

black and white close up portrait of an antIt can be a real challenge to determine whether ants in a home are nesting inside the house or are nesting outside and just looking for food inside. Knowing the answer to this question can make a difference in how the ants are controlled.

Indications That an Ant Colony is Nesting Inside:

  • Ant workers are consistently seen inside over a long, uninterrupted period of time.
  • Indications of ant nest building inside include finding “dump piles” of sawdust, debris, and dead insects that have been pushed out of the nest site.
  • Large numbers of swarmer ants with wings, or shed wings left behind. Ants swarming inside your home means that the nest is within the structure.

Indications That an Ant Colony is Nesting Outside:

  • Indoor ant infestations that are seasonal and show up and disappear repeatedly are usually an indication of an outside colony that is just foraging indoors (see What Causes Occasional Indoor Ant Problems?). 
  • Ants that are seen inside your house that can be trailed or followed to the outside, or ants on the outside of your house that can be followed to the inside.
  • Ants that are using a nearby tree, shrubs, or vines that are touching the exterior of your home to trail onto and into your house.
  • Ant nests very close to your home’s foundation. You may see ant mounds around sidewalks or driveways, window wells, under patio slabs, under potted plants, etc.
  • Foundation shrubs and plants around your home that are infested with aphids or other plant-feeding insects that are attracting ants (see The Ant/Aphid Connection).
  • Swarmer ants seen around the outside foundation of your home.

If you think ants may be nesting in or around your home, give Colonial Pest a call. Our trained technicians will inspect your home inside and out to locate the ants’ nest or nests, and will then design an ant management program that fits your situation.

Photo credit: sanchom / Foter / CC BY

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