How Do Ants Find Food — Samantha’s student essay

How Do Ants Find Food?

Ants are small, usually reddish brown creatures that live in colonies under the ground. Ants build colonies under the ground, oftentimes I’ve found them in sand. But the question is how do these little guys go about getting their food for their colonies to thrive. The worker ants leave the colony in hunt for food to feed their queen and the colony. But not without leaving a trail of their chemicals/pheromones in order to find their way back to the colony without getting lost.

Now that the hunt for food has begun most ants travel quite far from their colonies to find the most exquisite food. Ants use their antennae to find food sources. 

And once they’ve found their target ants release more pheromones to call to the other worker ants to come help carry the load of food back home. How it works is once the original ant has laid down their pheromones the other ants will use their antennae to narrow down which path to take towards the most efficient food source. 

Which can be described as leaving a trail of breadcrumbs down for the other worker ants to follow and as a way to get back home to their colony. Then the ants load the food onto their backs and carry it back to the colony, which will feed the children, queen, and the other worker ants.

ant workers

To add, many ant species smell out what they want for their meal. Such as carpenter ants who prefer foods such as meat and fats. Outdoor ants often look for honeydew, other dead insects to feed off of, or the Popsicle you accidentally dropped on the floor ants will rush to. But if an ant finds its way inside your house it decides it will take all the food it wants including your dog’s food, the bag chips you left out and forgot about, any food in the house ants can get to they will. And don’t forget ants leave their pheromones so if there is one ant, there will soon be a whole trail of ants with them getting food to bring home to their colony.

As a future elementary education major with an emphasis in science, technology, engineering and mathematics I believe learning about how ants eat and affect the environment would be a perfect future lesson plan. And it is such an interesting topic learning about ants releasing their pheromones to track other ants over to them is quite impressive, 

I believe my future students would love to learn about how ants find their food. And especially during an insect curriculum week this would be a perfect lesson plan. Along with what the ants eat and how they track down their food in their environment. Including to leave ants alone and to let them support their colony without bothering the little worker ants from doing their job. 

And we could learn how ants support our environment and support their own homes. Including how ants support and protect their homes just like how many other animals in the animal kingdom do. I can’t wait to be able to make how ants find food into a lesson for my future classroom.

Author: Samantha Roberts

Arizona State University



Thrive Pest Control
2415 River Rd,
Murfreesboro, TN 37129
Serving Nashville and Surrounding Areas

©2024 Copyright Thrive Pest Control. All RIGHTS RESERVED