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Why Do Ants Come Out at Night?

Ants Come Out At Night

Over the years, ants have built a reputation as the paragon of diligence and hard work. Their work ethic has been idolized by many, and they are regarded as one of the most persistent animals in existence.

Sadly, their persistence is one reason they are very annoying and challenging pests to get rid of. Leading many to ask questions like do ants come out at night? Or do they sleep like the rest of us after a long day?


The answer is yes; most ant species are active at night. This is because some are naturally nocturnal and work better after dark.

They also need to search for food constantly, and some prefer nights because it’s the best time to search without threats from predators.

Here, we’ll explore the types of ants that are active at night and also discuss why they are.

5 Species of Ants That Are Active at Night

Most ants are active at night. However, some are more active than others. Here are five species of ants that love to work at night:

1. Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ants On Wood

Carpenter ants primarily work at night or on the part of the days when the temperature is cool. They love sweet foods, and you’ll most likely find them where you keep your sugar, honey, or jelly. They also eat dead insects, pet food, and meat.

While they are considered dangerous, there’s currently no proof of them being harmful to humans. However, allowing them to build properties in your home can lead to severe property damage.

2. Pharaoh Ants

Small Pharaoh Ants In A House

Pharaoh ants are one of the most annoying species on the planet. They are about 2mm in size, yellow, sometimes transparent in color, and form colonies numbering in thousands.

Pharaoh ants are primarily found in hospitals, warehouses, grocery stores, and any cool location where you can find food. They build their nests in cupboards, wall cracks or voids, furniture, and ceilings.

These insects are harmful to humans as they carry pathogens like streptococcus and salmonella. Due to their tiny size, they enter your food, clothes, and wounds without anyone noticing. Even worse, these tiny devils are very active at night.

3. Fire Ants

Fire Ants Teamwork In Garden

Fire Ants workers generally search for food during cooler temperatures, especially at night. They are very dangerous and being omnivores; they feed on almost anything.

Unlike carpenter and pharaoh ants, fire ants are stinging ants, and their sting can put you in severe pain.

In fact, they are one of the most dangerous ant species. Their small size also makes them almost impossible to see, especially at night.

4. Bull Ants

Closeup Of A Bull Ant

Worker bull ants were specifically built to work at night. Their eyes are equipped with military-style night vision that helps them forage efficiently in the dark and avoids predators.

You wouldn’t want to bull ants around your house because they are very aggressive, and their stings are highly painful.

5. Yellow Crazy Ants

Yellow Ants In A Night

Also called long-legged ants, this specie of ants is very quick and sneaky. At 5mm, they are bigger than most ants and generally love to forage at cooler temperatures, especially at night.

They can build their nests anywhere, from wall cracks to furniture and vegetation. Though they are specifically harmful to humans, their ability to work 24/7 makes them very annoying pests.

Why Do Ants Come Out at Night?

Now that we’ve seen some of the ant species that are active at night, let’s look into the reasons why they are:

To Escape Predators

Ants are always on the move; since their numbers are ever-increasing, there’s a constant need always to build nests. Some prefer to do this at night to avoid disturbance and predator attacks.

Being active at night means they can work safely without being noticed.

They Prefer Cooler Temperatures

Most of the ant species that come out at night do so because they work better in cooler temperatures. You’ll hardly ever see these ants on sweltering days; they hide in their nests and wait till night or when the temperature has fallen.

However, this is only for certain species, as ants like the Saharan silver ants can survive surface temperatures up to 70 Degrees Celsius.

They Are Nocturnal in Nature

Ants are active at night because of their nocturnal nature. They are constantly foraging for food and shelter, so they don’t stop even when the sun goes down.

Some species are equipped with night vision sights or bigger eyes to attract more light, while others, like carpenter ants, follow wall trails and patterns.

Do Ants Sleep?

Ant In A Sleeping Mode

You might wonder if ants ever sleep, seeing that they work day and night. The answer is yes, they do. However, ants don’t take long naps like humans or other animals; they take power naps.

These power naps are usually a minute long and average and take about 250 daily. This amounts to 4 hours 48 minutes daily.

You always see them working because the ants take naps at different intervals, so why is one sleeping while others aren’t? Research has shown that at least 80% are active and awake at any time.


Ants are notorious for being very persistent. When they invade your home, they work quickly to build nests and find food, and in no time.

You’ll be seeing them everywhere and every time. If you’ve ever wondered if ants come out at night, the answer is yes, they do.

Some species of ants that are very active at night include carpenter ants, pharaoh ants, fire ants, bull ants, and yellow crazy ants.

These ants come out at night because it’s safer, as most of their predators are asleep by then. It’s also cooler, which they prefer, and lastly, they are nocturnal in nature; they don’t follow the same time as us. Plus, their naps are a minute long and taken randomly during the day.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Keep Ants Away at Night?

Spray lemon juice or place lemon peels around the area you usually see them. Also, spray this at your doors, windows, and any entrance to your home.

What Smell Do Ants Hate?

Peppermint! Ants can’t stand the sweet scent of peppermint. Spray it around your home constantly to keep them away.

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