Do Ants Die In Water? All You Need To Know

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Ants are known for their ability to survive in harsh environments. However, some ants species cannot survive in water. Do ants die in water?

There are several ant species that can’t survive in water. These ant species include the bulldog ant, carpenter ant, and Argentine ant. Bulldog ants and carpenter ants are both aquatic ants, meaning they live and work underwater. Argentine ants are not aquatic, but they do live near bodies of water.

Do Ants Drown in Water?

Ants Macro Watering place of ants ant in water stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Yes, ants drown in water. It takes them around 24 hours to drown, but the process is slow, and there is no guarantee of success. These creatures are capable of holding their breath for a long time, but eventually, they will need to come up for air.

They clump together and use air bubbles to stay afloat. This means that boiling or hosing them down will not work – you will need to pour them out of the container they are in.

Do Ants Die in Water?

Yes, ants do die in water. This is so because ants need oxygen to live, just like any other living organism. When they are placed in water, the lack of oxygen in the water will cause them to suffocate and eventually die.

Interestingly, some species of ants have developed mechanisms that allow them to survive floods. For example, the fire ants can form a waterproof raft by linking their bodies together, while the diving ants can hold their breath for extended periods of time.

How Long Does It Take Ants To Drown?

do ants die in water

Ants drown when they are exposed to large amounts of water. Their small size and inability to float for too long make them susceptible to drowning.

While some species of ants can swim, the majority will drown if they are submerged in water for an extended period of time.

Interestingly, ants that are faced with the prospect of drowning will exhibit some very interesting survival tactics. Many ants will float on the surface of the water and can last up to 24 hours before succumbing to death.

When faced with a flood, some ants work together to form rafts. This helps them escape the water and stay alive.

How Long Can Ants Hold Their Breath?

Some species of ants can hold their breath for a surprisingly long time – up to 48 hours in some cases! This allows them to travel underwater and scavenge for food.

They also have other methods of staying afloat, including storing air in their stomachs and using their wings as paddles.

On the other hand, the time they can hold their breath underwater varies depending on the species of ant. Some species can hold their breath for up to two hours, while others only have a five-minute window before succumbing to water.

Interestingly enough, ants are not the only creatures that can drown; spiders and other insects can drown as well.

Can Ants Swim?

Black ants on pink terrain

Some ant species are not adapted to swimming and will drown if they are put into water. However, most ants have developed survival skills that allow them to escape a drowning situation.

For example, the Australian bulldog ant can clamp onto underwater objects with its jaws and stay alive for extended periods of time.

Interestingly, there are a few species of ants that can swim. For example, the Camponotus schmitzi is a large black ant that can swim in search of food. Additionally, some diving ants can swim long distances to find new colonies.

The Camponotus schmitzi, for example, has undergone chemical changes that enable it to penetrate through liquid surfaces and move around in the liquid-like they do on land.

Can Ants Survive In Hot Water?

Black ant drinking water drop from a flower

Ants will die in boiling water. They are not able to survive temperatures above 100 degrees Celsius.

When it comes to ants, boiling water is a quick and easy way to kill them. The high temperature will quickly exterminate the ants, so you don’t have to worry about returning them.

Can You Kill Ants By Flushing Them Down The Toilet?

It is a common misconception that ants will die if flushed down the toilet. The truth is, most ants can swim and will not drown unless the water contains additives like soap or bleach, which will kill them.

If you want to eliminate ants, the best method is to pour boiling water on their nest.

Having said that, smaller ants are not as likely to survive when they are flushed down the toilet. This is because they often get stuck in the plumbing or septic system.

However, diving ants and larger ants have a better chance of surviving because they can swim and find their way out of these systems.

Does Hot Soapy Water Kill Ants?

Using soapy water to exterminate ants is an effective method. Not only ants but soapy water has been shown to kill a variety of other garden pests while causing no harm to beneficial insects or plants.

Many people use soapy water on ant trails to kill them, and it works. Ants enter a trail because they release pheromones, which cause them to follow each other. The ants’ pheromone trail will be erased by using soap, causing them to scatter.

However, soapy water will only kill a few ants, not a large number. Many individuals prefer to exterminate ants with hot soapy water. Pouring hot soapy water over an ant nest will kill almost all of the ants and, if you’re lucky, the queen ant as well.

The hot water will eliminate the ants, and the soap will remove the pheromone trails, preventing the ants from returning to the colony.

Ants are not killed by soapy water. It will, however, break their resistance to water and cause them to drown. In addition, ants have oil-coated exoskeletons.

When these ants are submerged in soapy water, the oils will break down, causing them to drown.


In conclusion, ants do not die in water. They are able to swim and will even travel across bodies of water to find food. Although they can survive in water, they cannot live under it for an extended period of time. Ants will eventually drown if they are submerged for too long.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.