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How Far Do Ants Travel? The Numbers Might Surprise You

Ants are one of the most interesting and fascinating insects. They have been around for over 100 million years, so how far do ants travel? 

The answer might surprise you as they can travel as much as a mile from their nest in search of food. 

In this article, we will discuss how far ants roam from their nest to find food, how long it takes an ant to travel a mile, and more.

5 Things You Didn't Know About Ants x
5 Things You Didn't Know About Ants

How Far Do Ants Travel?

Ants are extremely mobile creatures, which means they travel a lot. Surprisingly, it’s not very well documented how far ants travel in their lifetime or how many miles an ant journey can be.

The more common estimates of how far ants travel per day vary depending on who you ask and where the ants live. 

However, there was one study conducted in the United States that recorded how far ants travel. After multiple experiments, researchers found out that on average an ant would only walk six feet per day! That is less than half of a football field.

ant egg carried by multiple worker ants

How Far Could an Ant Travel in a Day?

Ants can travel about 3 inches per second. That’s 180 inches per minute, which correlates to about 4 miles a day.

How Far Do Ants Travel in a Lifetime?

Ants can travel as much as 4 miles per day. In their average lifespan of one to three years, they can travel as much as 3.000 miles, if they constantly moved around.

How Far Will Ants Travel From Their Nest?

Ants will travel up to 300 feet from their nest. They do this when they are looking for food, water, or a new home.

To find food ants have been known to walk as far as 2 miles just in one day! This is how workers bring back the goods that the colony needs.

How Far Will Ants Travel for Food?

Ants will travel for food anywhere from a few feet to 300 feet away from their nests [1]

They are also more likely to go further distances if they see other ants going that way as well because the pheromones on those trails show how safe and how good of an area it is.

Ants usually prefer shorter paths than longer ones, but how far they go depends on how often the area is patrolled by other ants.

Ants will also travel to find food that produces a lot of sugar or protein in one location and bring it back to their nest so all the other ants can eat as well.

ant pheromones

How Long Will It Take for an Ant to Travel a Mile?

It would take an ant an average of 6 hours to travel one mile. 

Do Ants Stay in the Same Place Their Entire Life?

There are some species of ants that stay in the same place their entire life. They only leave to find another location if they need to expand or move due to damage, weather changes, etc. 

How Far Away Can an Ant Find Its Way Home?

The answer to how far away an ant can find its way home depends on the circumstances. It depends on the species, the landscape, and whether or not it’s unknown territory.

How Fast Do Ants Travel?

As stated earlier, ants can travel about 3 inches per second.

Ants are known to travel fast. An average worker will walk about 200 miles in its lifetime and run about 250 miles over the same period. Some species of ants can run over 4 miles in a day.

Read more: How fast are ants?

Ant in the small world

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Ants Travel Alone?

Ants travel alone or in pairs. Ants are social insects that live together to survive and protect their nest community.

Ants wander around the same area as their colony, which is usually within 100 feet of their nest site. They will go farther away from this area if they need to find food, a water source, or if they need to escape from predators.

Do Ants Travel in Pairs?

There is a common misconception that ants travel in pairs. However, it’s not how most ants do things at all. Most of the time they wander around alone looking for food and resources to bring back to their colony home. In fact, only about 15% of ant species tend to travel as couples or groups. If you see lots of ants traveling in the same direction, they are probably just family or friends that live nearby.

Do Ants Travel in Groups?

Ants are not just found alone in the wild. They have been seen traveling in groups and they will never go too far from their colony. 

Ants will only work together when food is scarce and/or if there has been an attack on their colonies (usually by other insects). Otherwise, these little insects will not really care about each other. 

About Teodoro Pittman

Teodoro is a nature and animal lover. He specifically focuses on insects, such as ants, bees, and the like. In his free time, he takes care of his own ant farm, where he analyzes their behavior. Teodoro has spent the last 7 years studying the intricate behavior of these small creatures.