When do ants wake up from hibernation?

Ant on ice

STAGE 1: As it starts to warm up in the Spring (or even late winter), a few ants will start to become active inside the nest. You may even see one or two ants walking on the snow if it’s sunny enough.

STAGE 2: After four or five days of temperatures above freezing (+5 c / +41 f), more ants become active. You may start to see ants inside your home.

STAGE 3: The Queen will become active after two weeks of warmer weather. Once the Queen starts moving the whole nest wakes up and it’s game on!

STAGE 4: Flying ants [more info on why ants fly here]!

At the first sign of ants in or around your home you can start to take action:

  • Identify the entry points (where they’re coming in)
  • Identify the attractants (why they came in)
  • Clean up entry points and areas of attractant (using Windex or any strong smelling cleaner)
  • Place bait at entry points

Check out this article “How to get rid of ants in your house” for more help.

Check out this article “The Ants Life Cyle” for more information.

Remember: There is never just one.

Comment below and let me know the date you see your first ant.

Share this:


  1. Amanda Radford says:

    Hi. I’ve recently moved to the country and my bungalow is crawling with ants.
    We have an old fashioned larder and it was covered on ants everywhere. After a major clean, use of Nippon powder was put down and it lasted about 6hrs tops.
    After going in the loft to investigate the hole in the ceiling of my larder, I find we have an ants nest in the loft directly by the hole. I went out and bought Nippon blocks.
    Left it for about a day and ants still appearing.
    Then we find every morning we are coming into our living room, kitchen and hallway to a carpet of dead ants. Later finding we have a huge ants nest in the airing cupboard in our living room with soil mounds. I put down another Nippon block and still we have ants. There is nowhere around the perimeter of our bungalow that we can see ants entering.
    We bought some stray called Zero In…total insect killer, indoor use. Brilliant stuff but they still remain.
    Finally we have bought some plug in Topelek ultra sonic pest control repellents. They were £24 for 4 of them but can be bought individually.. So far so good.

  2. Laura says:

    for the past couple of years I have had a few ant nests in my cavity walls (in Scotland) and they swarm my house everytime for weeks on end through the smallest gaps in window frames, skirting boards etc, I have the pest control out every couple of weeks to do what they can but as its in the walls we cant get to the nests, ive also have everything that I can see sealed up every year…….any suggestions?

    • Mike Benny says:

      Hi Laura,

      It sounds like you’re doing all the right things, I can’t imagine why pest control can’t be more helpful.

      Using the ‘bait with poison’ technique described here (https://antsinmyhouse.com/how-to-get-rid-of-ants/), the ants should be carrying the poison back to the cavity in the wall and thus, destroying the nest (in theory). However, I think it’s unlikely that the ants are actually nesting inside the wall cavity. I suggest you investigate the area outside the wall (where the outside wall meets the dirt). It could be that the ants are indeed outside, but making their way in threw the cavity. If that’s the case you’d be better to deal with the outside perimeter of the house. Try using some “ant powder” around the outside of the house.

      A product like ‘Raid Ant Powder’ 250g sells for about £2.75 and can be applied around the perimeter of the house, on window sills and on skirting boards (please read the instructions clearly and do not apply in areas where there might be small children or pets).

      Please let us know if you have any luck with this!

      • Laura says:

        Hi, thanks for your suggestions, unfortunately I have used every method going, powder, spray, bait trays etc etc, I think I could probably become a sponsor of raid. We have hunted everywhere for the nests but can’t find them but the ants are all coming and going from the air vents in the walls

  3. Dave says:

    I have loads of ant’s in the kitchen must be a nest somewhere have had pest control out twice killed loads of queens using squirt ant killer

  4. Andrew says:

    I live just south of Calgary so the temperature fluctuates a lot. I’m wondering at what temperature they start moving about. I want mark the general location of the nests, with sidewalk chalk. I don’t want to kill all the ants because the good they can sometimes do in the garden. I do know what to do to keep them out of the house. I’m using the Raid Ant killer in the small squeeze bottle, carefully.
    Marking the nests will be fun for the grandkids when they visit.

    • Mike Benny says:

      Hi Andrew, I must say, you have a great attitude about ants (or a great antitude 😉

      Ants can be active whenever the nest gets above 5° C. When the temperature gets below that, they will usually go deeper into the nest and reduce outside activity. Ants will be most active between 15° C and 25° C.

      Their activity level has more to do with where they are in their “Egg, Larva, Pupa Cycle” than the ambient air temperature.

      This sounds like a fun project you have planned for your grandkids, let us know how it goes.

  5. Zach says:

    We’ve been getting a random ant maybe two in the same area on the wall every night starting April 14th ish. Then tonight (4/21) there were like 4-5. It’s near my range so I pulled it out no signs of infestation. I checked everywhere no new plants I even sprayed the perimeter of the house with ortho. Granted it was a warmer winter this year so maybe I waited to long to spray. But I still have no idea where they are coming from.

    • Mike Benny says:

      Hi Zach,

      Sometimes it’s really tough to figure out where they’re coming from. It’s unlikely they’re nesting in the house (they almost always nest outside – underground). Let me know how your battle goes. We would appreciate any info on what works and what doesn’t work. Good luck!

  6. Isis Cruz says:

    Yesterday I had a lot of ants in my window I left a cup of juice the edge of the window they went crazy I got up and kill them and clean the area with bleach today I got up and bleach my whole apt I’m not done yet

    • Mike Benny says:

      Hi Isis,

      It’s that time of the year, that’s for sure. Let the battle begin! Let us know how your bleaching efforts work. Good Luck.

  7. Eric says:

    I live in an old hotel building in Oakland, CA and ants are a definite problem here. As you said, it’s impossible to kill them all so the best I can do is clean, clean, clean (which I should be doing daily anyway, so the ants def help me accomplish that chore), NEVER leave out open containers/food, and kill scouts when I see them. Anyway, earlier I accidentally spilled some Red Bull, easy clean-up it wasn’t that much. But ooooh boy was it like crack to the ants. Within minutes, my room had several trails etc etc. Thanks for the site, it provides some info I didn’t know, and a reminded me of some other techniques to keep them at bay as well. My dilemma right now is that I ran out of bleach-bassed cleaning spray that is the BEST for ants and the only disinfectant-type cleaner I have left doesn’t keep the ants from coming back literally minutes after I’ve wiped up and thrown away the trail of ants and their companions nearby. Yeeeeeesh! So frustrating. I guess I’ll have to go buy more bleach-based spray (for the trails, clean surfaces etc), bait, and duct tape or something like it (to plug-up crack and holes the ants use as an entry point). Anything else I should do/get from the store??? Thanks!

    • Mike Benny says:

      I had a similar situation a few weeks ago. It turned out a few ants had come in the house, inside a potted plant I had placed next to the sink. Any plants near by ?

  8. Mike Benny says:

    You must be somewhere warm if you’ve got them already… 🙂 Thank you for commenting and good luck with those little guys. See if you can follow them and tell where they come in the house, the best place is stop them is at their entry point.

  9. Sarah says:

    Had ants in my entryway two weeks ago. Bait took care of them immediately. Now finding them in my bathroom tonight. 🙁 have put out more bait, hope it works

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.