Do ants close their nests?

We have red ants in our yard with big barren earth mounds. Do they close them up at night? I didn't see any openings this morning and one lone ant stemmed to be wandering around the was very hot yesterday and cool this morning so I was wondering if they close the openings at night or in extreme weather

We live in Brighton Co., out on the prairie.


Dear Judith:

I'm going to take a guess here and presume you mean (out of the several Brighton Counties in the US) the one in Colorado. The most likely ant from your description and that location is the western harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex occidentalis. These ants forage in the daytime, and unless it is very warm, retreat into the nest at night. And they do indeed close off nest entrances when it's cool.

In fact, many species of ants close off their nests when conditions are unfavorable, and even more common is for them to seal up holes and reduce the size of the nest entrance to reduce draftiness.

Thanks for contacting Ant Web.

James C. Trager of the Ask Ant Team

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