Do Ants Come Out at Night? Here is Why They Do

Do ants come out at night? What many people don’t know is that ants are capable of doing more than what we think.

Many ant species are active at night which means they are more likely to come out in the night than daytime. For example, carpenter ants are nocturnal and you’ll see them active after dark. Worker ants will perform most of their activities at night while spending the daytime resting.

In this article, I will discuss what type of ants are active during the ant, if ants are attracted to light at night, and do they sleep at night?

Stay tuned to find out!

8 Species of Ants That Are Active at Night

Here’s the list of ant species that are mostly active at night:

#1 Odorous House Ants

Odorous house ants are especially active during the nighttime. They prefer to stay hidden in their chamber, which is located behind walls and cabinets with wood forming part of its home. They follow an established trail and lead their followers to the food source.

When being led by visitors or members of the colony, both solid and liquid trails help them adhere on a straight path, which enables them that they don’t get lost regardless of whether it’s during daytime or nighttime.

Are they dangerous for you?

Odorous house ants can be found from Canada to Mexico. Unlike other ants and termites, aren’t dangerous to humans. They can be able to bite you but rarely do those who don’t invade their property or sting them because of aggression.

#2 Fire Ants

Image by Judy Gallagher via Flickr

The worker fire ants come out to forage during cooler parts of the day or at night. They invade multiple food sources and will be aggressive if they are kicked or sprayed water by the intruder.

They have small heads for readily carrying large loads in addition to long antennas which alerts them whether there’s an intruding threat, thus preventing an escape from their colony.

Are they dangerous for you?

Fire ants are one of the most dangerous species. They are found all over the world, mostly in Australia, Central, and South America. The painful sting of fire ants can leave you with burning pain. It’s hard to pinpoint on its site. They are one of the most dangerous pests in the US, especially at night when you can’t see them.

#3 Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants only come out at night or during the cooler parts of the day to invade vegetation and animal food sources. They are well-adapted to human environments by nest construction, making their location in our homes a problem. The queen often carries the egg packets from one colony to another by crawling.

They can climb high up a vertical surface without any signs that there’s an easy escape for them. Carpenter ants feed on the bodies of other insects.

Are they dangerous for you?

Carpenter ants are thought to be aggressive and dangerous but they are not. However, they can cause a lot of damage to people or their homes as they are responsible for causing millions worth of damages annually across the world.

This is mainly due to structural instability, water seepage, and flooding caused by Carpenter ants’ attempts at forcing thousands out through an infested wall void.

#4 Yellow Crazy Ants

Image by John Tann via Flickr

Yellow Crazy Ants are mostly active at night while other ants are asleep. They only carry out their activities in the cooler periods of the day, when others go dormant to wait for the nighttime activity period.

This is mainly due to their low metabolic needs which enables them to function even at frigid temperatures and limited solar radiation conditions during daytime hours.

Are they dangerous for you?

The current ant colonies span across the Indian and Pacific Oceans, including Papua New Guinea, Mauritius, and South East Asia, where they are a dominant pest. Unlike others, they are not aggressive and don’t have any teeth to bite. They mostly come out for protein which helps them build the colony.

#5 Bull Ants

Bull ants have a night vision goggle which helps them see in the dark or at night. They have a kind of pheromone that communicates with each other to swarm when there is food in sight.

Are they dangerous for you?

Bull ants are generally harmless but they can cause minor problems if their nest is in close proximity to children or pets. They must be rectified by a trusted pest control company.

#6 Pavement Ants

Image by Fractality via Flickr

Pavement ants can be hard to find especially when it comes Down to the sub-basement area where they lay their colony. They predominantly forge at night. However, they can be seen during the daytime.

They are called pavement ants because they do build their nests on sidewalks and pavements. They are one of the most common ant species swarming any area where food is present, like garbage containers or landfills.

Are they dangerous for you?

Pavement Ants play a prominent role in triggering disease outbreaks by killing or weakening the host animals. They are known to affect dogs, birds, pork products, and pet foods. They are common throughout the United States.

#7 Ghost Ants

Ghost ants can be commonly seen in the dark, especially when it’s a rainy season. They are small in appearance and can live up to a few weeks. They have pale and translucent legs.

Are they dangerous for you?

They are a tropical species that is most typically of African or Asian origin. Ghost ants can be found primarily in central and southern Florida and Hawaii in the United States.

Ghost ants have no distinct stinger or poison which makes them completely harmless to humans. However, their presence in the house could disturb you.

#8 Rover Ants

Rover ants also tend to be active at night. They are harder to find during the day because they hide in the dark crevices.

Are they dangerous for you?

Rover ant species are typically found in the Americas. These ants are known to be insectivores that feed on a plant or dead animals.

Once they become established, rover ant colonies can be seen everywhere – inside your home and outside it as well -and their population tends to grow rapidly even during damp weather.

Now that we have an idea that many ants are active after dark, what truly is the reason?

Why Do Ants Come Out at Night?

Black Garden Ant

Since we know that ants love moisture and food source, the fact that there are many species of ants that need to come out at night makes sense. They really do have a structured and consistent routine, especially when it comes to their food materials. Here are the reasons why ants love to be active at night:

#1 They Are Nocturnal

Ants are often active at night because they are nocturnal in their nature. They have a clear vision of where to go and what food sources exist.

#2 They Can Forage For Food

Insects search for food at night because their metabolism continues to run and they have the best condition for gathering proteins. Even ants need to go out when it comes to searching out protein-rich foods during the nighttime.

#3 They Can Protect Themselves From Predators

Ants will notice if their colony is threatened by larger predators or aggressive insects, and will decide to move out at night if they think it’s the right decision. Ants can barely move in the daylight because their size and color make their trails easier to spot by predators.

If they came out during the day, it would expose them without a way to hide from natural threats.

To summarise, ants are nocturnal because they need to be active during the night and they have a regular routine when it comes to searching for food. They will also choose to leave their colony if there is a predator that may hurt them or they feel threatened by an aggressive insect.


Read more: Do Ants Sleep?

Faizan Khan

Hey! This is Faizan. I love to explore different ways to control pests. PestCircle is where I share my knowledge by writing articles on different pest control techniques. I always enjoy giving out my knowledge and experience with people to help people deal with pests effectively.

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