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Are Ants Deaf?

Have you ever thought about how funny an ant would look with human-style ears? I imagine dangly ears would at least make it harder for them to squeeze in and out of picnic baskets. That being said, do ants have earholes, do they hear through their antennae, or how do they hear? Are ants deaf?

Loosely Defining Hearing

Vibrations are everywhere. They travel in the wind, on the ground, and even coming from plants. For people, we have special hairs in our ears and an eardrum that pick up on vibrations traveling through the air that we translate into sound. For ants, vibrations allow them to “hear” their environment and are a crucial component to both survival and communication.

Walking Ears

image of an ant
Ants are interesting insects. They have many unique qualities, including the way they interpret sound. Through sensors in each leg, an ant can feel vibrations and interpret them as safe or dangerous. Ants can then take action, whether it be to scavenge for food or defend their territory. Ants themselves can also create vibrations by using their abdomen and legs to make a sound that can be heard by others in the colony.

Are ants deaf just because they hear differently? I would venture to say no. Vibrations can share a lot about the environment and help ants to safely scavenge for food and protect themselves from predators. These vibrations not only help ants to stay safe but aid communications as well. From the wind in the trees to the sound of predators, ants can feel the environment and react accordingly to survive.

Other Senses

Ants also have other methods of communication. Inspired by vibrations within the environment, ants release a unique mixture of pheromones that attract the attention of the colony. Pheromones can be lead other ants from the colony to food sources, express danger, and even identify intruders.

Hearing Anywhere but Here

Ants are great study subjects and interesting as they stay out of my way.  Are ants deaf to your eviction notices? If ants are finding their way into your home or business, you don’t have to fight that battle. Reach out to the ant experts at Rove Pest Control to put together your custom ant avoidance plan.