Blog & Journal


Small But Terrible: The Strength of Ants in a Nutshell

esther.diaz November 1, 2017

Ants are among the most difficult opponents of pest control. This is due to the fact that they are strong enough to protect themselves with their figure and size. However, as you might have already seen the standard size of ant, how can they be so strong that they are able to lift things 50 times their own weight?

Well, it’s actually everybody’s question, and we’re writing this very article to find that mystery out.

They have Superman-like muscle strength. Well, for the record, Superman is known to effortlessly lift ‘things’ such as a train or a house with its god-like strength. Ants, on the other hand, seems to have the same extreme muscle strength such that of Superman’s. But it isn’t inherited from any gods, or some sort.

The reason why ants have this kind of muscle strength is because they needed it for their daily routines. They are designed with those muscles in order to fulfill their tasks for the betterment of all colonies. Their strength mainly lies on the cross sectional area of their bones and muscles, allowing them to perform backbreaking labor every day. In short, they are strong because of the muscles that it contains in its whole body [despite its size].

They have the anatomy of a weight lifter. It may sound unbelievable, but it seems that ants are perfectly designed for their day-to-day labors. Their bodies have this kind of anatomy that supports power and heavy lifting unlike other species. It’s firmly put together, therefore there’s only a gradual amount of transitions between joints to reduce the feeling of weakness as they do chores. Surprising, isn’t it?

Aside from their compact body, their neck is also an x-factor as it’s capable  supporting up to 5,000 times of its own weight. This was found by researchers as they experimented an ant glued to a disk, and spinned it off for as many times as possible until the head fell off.

They have more strength in numbers. While they can be strong individually with their body structure, they could be so much stronger when they are stronger. They are best known to work as a team in order to do better, more significant things given that they all have their muscle strength combined. For instance, teaming up allows ants to move around 50 tons of soil in a year. Furthermore, they are also equipped to attack larger insects such as a moth when working as a single unit.

Though this may seem impressive, it can be a threat to humans. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a specific type of ants, called fire ants, are capable of causing $5 billion a year when it comes to structural damage, pest control, and medical costs. Hence, if you noticed an ant infestation around your area, call a pest control service for proper inspection.

Their size also counts for the unbelievable strength. When it comes to animals, size and strength are correlating factors. This is due to the fact that when an animal’s height and weight goes up, its strength goes down. On the other hand, when an animal is smaller in size, it is apparently much stronger than the bigger one. Scientifically speaking, this is because there is minimal mass involved for the smaller ones.

For ants, it can lift up to 50 times its own weight as it only weighs around 1-5mg. Plus, there is lesser gravity pulling the load down given that ants tend to hurry across surfaces most of the time.

In addition, this very reason can also be the same explanation on why Ant-Man is extremely strong for its own size.

Key Takeaway

What more can we say? The first reason has been convincing enough for the question on the ants’ strength. So is the latter three, and it’s definitely impressive that they were given that super-strength to be able to fulfill their tasks in the colony. However, while they are as impressive as they seem, it’s pretty alarming that they can actually harm both residential and commercial areas with the same individual strength [and in numbers.] Hence, in the event that you notice an infestation starting within your area, do not hesitate to call for a pest control service like Topbest.

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