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ants communicate on plant

How Ants Communicate And Organise

Ants live in colonies, and they have a surprisingly sophisticated way of communicating with each other. This is because they have several methods of communicating, not just one. There can be millions of ants living in one colony. The same number of ants can live in one colony as there are people living in London. Like us, ants communicate and organise effectively, and is key to their success.

Ants communicate by using smell and taste

Using pheromones is one of their tools. Ever wondered why you get a trail of ants in your house that know where to get something to eat? The ant who makes the original discovery leaves a pheromone trail for others to follow. This is essentially a smell that other ants recognise. You may be interested to learn that each colony has its own scent? The ants know if a rival colony has been in the area. Ants detect the pheromones with their antennae.

red ants organising

Ants practise something called trophallaxis. This is a scientific name for food sharing. One ant will often eat food out of the mouth of another. They aren’t just stealing it. Scientists think that food sharing may fulfil several functions. It is a way that ants communicate and share information as well.

Do ants use touch and sound to communicate?

Ants communicate by touch as well. They have been observed touching antennae with each other. This can tell one ant what task another ant is doing. With poor eyesight, they can’t rely on sight for this information.

Do ants also use sound? Have you ever heard an ant? Probably not. You might think they are silent. But ants can make a sound by rubbing their legs on a particular part of their body. A trapped ant can use this noise to alert their fellow ants as a distress call.

Why are ants so well organised?

An ant colony does not have a leader. Instead, ants each have specialised roles that they play to help the colony function. There is one queen, but she is not in charge. Her sole purpose is to lay eggs and produce the next generation. Then, there are the sterile female worker ants, with a variety of specialties.

ant hills in a london garden

Jobs include looking after the brood, foraging, patrolling and nest maintenance. Each job is vital in the survival of the colony. If your garden is overrun by ants, it is due to their highly evolved reproductive and survival skills.

If ants have strayed from their nest and discover a source of food in your kitchen, they can be difficult to get rid of. However, help for ant control in London is at hand. You can always give Diamond a call or drop us a message on our contact page. We are experts in all areas of pest control.


Sally has been writing on the subject of pest control for 4 years. She always carries out extensive and in depth research and always tries to bring you the most up to date, interesting topics.

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