While ants and bears might not appear to have much in common, they both spend their winters hibernating. Like bears, ants eat large amounts of food in the fall and live off the stored fat while they slumber away the winter months. And when spring arrives, both ants and bears wake up hungry. While you probably don’t have to worry about bears invading your kitchen when it gets warm, the same can’t be said about ants.
As the famous Aesop fable, “The Grasshopper and the Ant” teaches, ants must earnestly work hard during the summer to forage enough food to make it through the winter. And the longer, hotter, and drier the weather, the more ants are motivated to scurry into your house in search of food and water. Ants favor the kitchen, bathrooms, and pantries because they provided exactly what they need—food and water. They can eat almost anything from sugar packets to grease splattered on your stovetop. Once a scout ant finds such tasty treats, they will mobilize their army. Before the day is out, you will have a trail of ants dining on your dime.
To prevent home invasions, kitchen hygiene is a must, especially in the summer months. Promptly clean up after meals, throw out those opened hot chocolate packages in the back of the pantry, and keep garbage cans clean. Perishable foods should be refrigerated and open boxes of cereals should be kept in airtight containers. Put out ant traps, baits, and gels, which will permanently eliminate the summer problem by destroying ants in their nests.
The past decade has seen record breaking summer temperatures and prolonged droughts in many parts of the country. If it’s hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk, if it hasn’t rained in weeks, and the vegetation is brown and dying, billions of ants are going to be hungry and thirsty. Don’t give an open invitation to ants by providing them with a summer picnic.