You’re in the kitchen making breakfast when you notice a tiny movement in the corner of your eye. It’s a single ant crawling on your counter. You easily dispose of it, but before you know it, another ant crawls in its place and another. At this point, you’re thinking, “Where are these ants coming from?
Well, the opportunistic little crawlers are adaptable. They can survive in many environments, from a small hole in your wall to under your carpet. Stick around to learn more about where ants place their nests and how you can spot them.
What Does an Ant Nest Look Like?
Ant nests come in various forms and types. Here are a few common examples:
Simple Ant Nests
As their name suggests, simple ant nests don’t cover much ground. They’re usually just small enough to go unnoticed by you. You can find them under large structures like logs or stones.
In addition, simple nests usually have a single vertical tunnel with some branches that lead to the ants’ chambers. They house honey ants, for the most part.
Complex Ant Nests
Complex ant nests hold an intricate network of tunnels and chambers. They can go multiple feet underground. Fire ants commonly house this type of nest. On top of the complex underground system, they usually build a large mound for insulation and protection purposes. Other species, like leafcutter ants, also reside in complex ant nests. These fearless little warriors have a far-reaching network of chambers in their nests. Each room can extend up to 0.5 square kilometres.
Wood Nesting Ants
The carpenter ant is a suitable example of a wood-nesting ant. They call it home if there’s a place with wood and moisture. You can find these ants in your garden if you have a tree. Your tree might have a hole from woodpecker drillings, lawnmower bumps, or a fungal disease. Regardless, carpenter ants will find the new space an opportunity for shelter.
Soil Nesting Ants
Soil nesting ants are likely this list’s most common type of nesters. They fall into their natural habitat and benefit the environment. The ants crawl in the soil, de-compacting it and creating better airflow for plant life to grow. The plants will then serve other animals in the surrounding ecosystem.
Opportunistic Ant Nesters
Opportunistic ant nesters have few requirements compared to other colonies. All they need to survive are food accessibility, protection, and moisture. Their low standard makes them adaptable to more environments, including your home. They’ll be fine living in a miniature crack in your walls or floorboards.
How to Find Ant Nests Outdoors?
Finding an ant nest outdoors is much easier than locating it indoors. Rather than looking at cracks or holes, you can look for clues in the open or under rocks or logs. Here are some steps to help you out:
Step 1: Find a Mound
The first sign you’ll want to look for is a mound of dirt or soil in your garden. It’ll have a distinct hole on top for the entry point. You can find these mounds next to or under a log or stone. They might also be next to your pavement or plants.
Step 2: Check In Wood Areas
Survey your garden for any wooden spots where carpenter ants will likely reside. It could be in fallen wood decay, your tree, or under a log. Overall, any spot with rotten wood is fair game for these ants.
Step 3: Follow a Trail
You might notice small movements as you walk outside to survey the area. If you spot a trail of ants, follow it. It’ll likely lead you to their nest. The trail might be moving from the nest to your home for food access.
Step 4: Check for Aphids
Aphids are likely to munch on your garden’s plants. As they consume, the pesky insects secrete a sweet honeydew that most ant species like to feed on. The ant colony shouldn’t be too far off if you see the aphids. You’ll want to get rid of the ants before the aphids. If you treat the aphid infestation first, the ants will redirect their food access to your home.
Step 5: Look at Your Home’s Exterior
Walk around your home and check for cracks between the bricks. Ants can make their way to your home through holes or voids around the house.
Do Ants Nest in Houses?
If you’ve found some insects around your counter, floor, or furniture, you might have an ant’s nest in your house hiding somewhere. They can gain entry through a small hole in your door or wall, windows, or any other opening.
The crawlers can even make their way to you if you live on the sixth floor of your apartment building. Where food is, these determined little critters will find a way to get to it.
How to Find Ant Nest in House?
Finding their nest is the first step to getting rid of the ant infestation. Now, you can do so by following the points below.
Follow the Trail
If you locate a bunch of ants walking, see where they’ll lead you. They might be a nocturnal ant species, so grab a torch for a better view. Finding the exact nest’s location could get more challenging if the trail leads to the floorboards or wall voids. In this case, you’ll need to call professional ant exterminators for help.
Find Dead Ants
If a few dead ants are lying around, chances are the nest isn’t too far behind. If it’s not visible, then carefully listen. You might hear the sound of ants rustling behind your wall or under your floorboards. Alternatively, you can tap your walls and check if it’s hollow from the tunnels they’ve built.
Check for Signs of Ants
Like the carpenter species, some ants leave a clue behind their presence. They could leave a trail of sawdust from digging through the wooden tunnels. Additionally, check for moist areas around the house. Lots of ant species thrive in humid environments.
Where Do Ants Nest in a House?
Ants can nest in multiple hard-to-find spots in your house. Here’s where to check:
- In wall voids or behind the wallpaper.
- Behind baseboards or moulding.
- Hiding under or behind large appliances like refrigerator, dishwasher, oven, or laundry machine.
- In the under-sink cabinet, near the drain.
- Openings around the kitchen cabinets or counters.
Where do ants place nests? In short, the insects can live anywhere from a crevice on your kitchen counter to a hole in a rotten piece of wood. After locating the nest, you’ll want to take immediate action. You can opt for professional help, especially if the colony is in a hard-to-reach area. On the other hand, natural remedies like vinegar, lemon, and peppermint oil solutions can get rid of the infestation.