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When the Sun Sets: The Nighttime Habits of Ants

They don't spend evenings relaxing with a favorite TV show. It's hard to imagine one stretching and yawning on the way to bed. What exactly do they do when the sun goes down? Are ants nocturnal, or do they turn in after a busy day foraging through your backyard and kitchen?

It Depends on the Species

Unlike their pharaoh and Argentine cousins, carpenter and sugar ants keep their colonies running at full speed 24/7. You rarely see them in the moonlight, but they can see you.

The insects have remarkable night vision because their huge eyes are filled with wide photoreceptors. Every ant in a nest can navigate the darkness through yards, walls, and kitchen cabinets. Ant control specialists use their knowledge of different species' nocturnal habits to help control the pests in your home or business.

They Know How to Nap

If you put in 24-hour shifts seven days a week, you'd need some downtime. The worker ant manages with a schedule that includes:

  • One-minute naps at regular intervals

  • More than 253 quick snoozes every 24 hours

  • A total of just over four hours sleep each cycle

Ant queens improve that timetable with 90 breaks a day averaging six minutes a nap. It adds up to a comfortable nine-plus hours of sleep that helps explain their longevity. Queens live for years while workers' lifespans average a few months.

Nighttime Habits Are Daytime Habits

Entomologists sometimes refer to an ant colony as a superorganism because each insect handles a specific duty that supports the entire nest. Some take care of the queen while others defend the colony. The ants invading your kitchen pantry are foragers scurrying back and forth on food patrol. Ant routines that go on all night are identical to the activity you see during the day.

Call Us for Expert Ant Control

It's interesting and even fun to learn new things about familiar insects. It's also a chance to better understand how they can affect your home or business. If you suspect ant activity on your property when the sun goes down, give us a call here at Pest Arrest. We're at your service with expert ant control, and our estimates are always free.


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