Q:

Do ants carry disease?

A:

Quick Answer

Ants do not carry disease. Ants groom themselves often and keep both their feet and antennae extraordinarily clean.

Continue Reading
Do ants carry disease?
Credit: Faris Algosaibi CC-BY-2.0

Full Answer

Ants have a lipid layer that covers their exoskeleton that makes it difficult for them to retain bacteria. In addition to their meticulous grooming habits, this layer makes ants one of the cleaner members of the animal kingdom. Ants also secrete powerful antimicrobial chemicals both in their external glands and through their saliva. Because of all these factors, ants themselves are not at risk for diseases and cannot carry diseases that can impact humans or other animals.

Although ants do not carry diseases, the red-colored fire ant can cause discomfort to humans through their bite. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that people with mobility problems ensure that they are free of fire ants to avoid sustaining multiple bites. Luckily, these more dangerous ants are typically not found within the home. Because they prefer sun-exposed areas in the outdoors, they usually are found in yards and parks. Fire ants sometimes create large mounds which can be eliminated through various treatments sold in retail stores. The discomfort from a fire ant sting has been documented in medical literature since 1957. Despite the discomfort they can cause, fire ants do not carry any diseases.

Learn more about Ants

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are tiny red ants?

    A: Visible tiny red ants are most likely one of the roughly 200 species of fire ants belonging to the genus 'Solenopsis.' The small nuisance ants typically ra... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are Rasberry ants?

    A: Rasberry crazy ants are tiny, reddish-brown insects known for their crazy, erratic movements. These invasive ants were discovered in Pasadena, Texas, by lo... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Do ants eat termites?

    A: Not only do ants eat termites, but ants are one of the primary predators of this wood-eating insect. Sometimes ants help control termite populations depend... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are small ants with wings?

    A: Small ants with wings can be acrobat ants on their nuptial flight. To create a colony, the new queen needs to mate. When the new queens and males hatch, th... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore