Kitchener Pest Control: How Do Ants Smell?

How Do Ants Smell

This isn’t a trick question. If you think that the answer is that ants smell good or ants smell bad, you’re also mistaken. Ants have a highly developed sense of smell that helps them communicate with other ants. Ants use their sense of smell to send and receive important messages for survival. Understanding the different ways that ants employ their sense of smell with pheromones could lead to future breakthroughs in pest control in Kitchener and other areas. Find out how ants use their sense of smell and who to contact if you need professional ant removal services. 

Why Ant Smell Matters 

Though ants are absurdly strong for their small size, they still need expert-level communication to get by in the big world around them. Their strong sense of smell helps them perceive the world around them and make careful decisions to serve their needs. Much of what they are smelling is based on their detection of pheromones. Plants, animals, and other ants emit pheromones that affect the ant’s behaviour and decision-making processes. Ants rely on their sense of smell to pick up pheromones that will guide their behaviour. 

Ant Antennas Perceive Smells 

The ant’s antennae are the powerhouse of their sense of smell. The two trim protruding lines on top of an ant’s head are its antennae. Ant antennae are always wriggling around and searching for pheromones to provide them with information. Some research suggests that other olfactory sense organs can detect pheromone signals other than just antennae. Those organs related to the sense of smell also can be found in the mouthparts or the genitalia of some ant species. Generally, however, the antennae are what is completing the process of smell detection for the ant.

Pheromones Drive Ant Communication 

The antennas gather pheromone molecules with tiny hairs called sensilla. The sensilla run up and down, covering the antennae. Once the sensilla of the antennae pick the pheromones, they then work to produce odour-binding proteins. These proteins are produced as a response to the pheromones gathered. When the proteins are created, they enter through pores on the sensilla and travel through the ant’s nervous system. In the nervous system, the proteins will transmit information that signals certain behaviours in ants. 

Ant Signals Guide Behaviours 

When the ant brain system receives the protein created by the sensilla from the initial pheromone, it then detects the purposes of the pheromone. It processes its following behaviour as a response to the stimulant. Ants depend on pheromone and subsequent protein production detection to tell them which environments to return to or avoid, how to find food, which way to follow to return to food, how to seek a mate, which nest to call home, and so forth. Without these signals, ants are at risk of being separated from their nest and unable to locate food sources. The survival of an ant indeed depends on expert pheromone communication detected by a highly developed sense of smell. 

Professional Ant Removal Services 

Thanks to the detection of pheromones, researchers now know that ants look for these scents to know which places to return to and which to avoid. Based on this information, further research may produce solutions that will disrupt pheromones and send ants in a different direction if they are infesting an area. Perhaps, solutions will scatter pheromone signals that will instead tell ants not to return to a site. In the meantime, Truly Nolen provides expert ant removal services in the Kitchener area to meet your needs. 

Contact Truly Nolen to schedule an evaluation of your home or property. You can also contact our professionals to learn more about professional ant removal options in Kitchener.