How Long Can An Ant Hold Its Breath? [ Know The Answer ]

The majority of us think that we can prevent ants if we suffocate or drown them. However, you cannot just get rid of them by this kind of ineffective technique as ants have no lungs in their body.

When these little insects drown in water, they never hold their breath. What they do is shut their spiracles. Even though shutting the spiracles implies that ants will not drown in the water, it also implies that they cannot get any oxygen. These little insects can withstand this for nearly 1day doing this.

Ants drowning in the water may seem to be lifeless. However, they are alive. The moment you take them away from the water and oxygen starts streaming through the spiracles, and they will begin to proceed with their regular activities. Go through the entire article to know how long ants can hold their breath and how they breathe.

How long can an ant hold its breath?

To explain it simply and clearly, ants are incredible survivors. They can survive without breathing in floods for long periods. They can also create lifeboats to survive in the water.

This can be particularly hazardous when fire ants create lifeboats. Various insects can survive without breathing for hours and days. The majority of ant species can survive for nearly 1day underwater.

The reason is there are no lungs in their body, and they take oxygen through tiny holes present in their bodies which are known as spiracles and let carbon dioxide evacuate the body of ants.

The moment the spiracles close, the ant will take oxygen from the little holes. Ants do this so that water doesn’t come into the holes. As long as the tiny holes contain oxygen, they will not die.

Can you suffocate an ant?

No! It is not possible to suffocate ants. Insects like ants can stay alive in an empty container or a flood for a long time. The reason is air bubbles are attached to their body.

They can shut the tubes and take the stored oxygen. This is the reason they don’t need to inhale to stay alive. They don’t have any lungs in their bodies. Instead, they have spiracles to inhale oxygen.

Do ants die without oxygen?

Ants are small pests that can be found inside shopping malls, forests, houses, etc. You can find ants everywhere. The reason is they contribute to the ecosystem. They are the tiny insects that clean everything like dirt or food that is on your table or floor. Ants clean every substance on this globe.

But the question is if they can live without oxygen. No. Every living creature in this globe needs oxygen to stay alive. We all require oxygen to stay alive, even ants! Nonetheless, they don’t experience shortness of breathing as they have no lungs in their body.

These little pests inhale oxygen through tubes in the lower part of their body. These tiny tubes called spiracles store enough oxygen for later use. So, ants can die without oxygen. But they also can live without it for a long time.

Do ants die if you flush them?

No. It can be guaranteed that if you flush ants, they will die or not. This relies on several factors like whether any type of chemicals present in the water can harm the ants and water flow as it flashes.

Don’t forget that these little insects have the aptitude to survive in flood for 24 hours. Thus, if the toilet water contains no chemicals and the water flow is not high, ants will just shift to another place from one area.

Nonetheless, if additives such as soaps, body wash, etc., they may die as you flush them into the toilet. However, bigger ants or diving ants can survive even if you flush them in the toilet. Bigger ants can resist more water flow.

Do Ants Drown in Water?

Yes. These tiny pests can be unable to survive in the water as they don’t know how to swim. The legs of ants are very small and can’t create a force to enable them to swim through the flood.

Sometimes, they can swim in the water. However, because of their tiny body mass, they are unable to swim in the water unless they are in groups. The surface tension of water can keep these little insects floating and instantly save them from suffocating in the water.

However, if you drop an ant in soapy water, it won’t be able to survive as there no water surface tension will be there to help them to float on the water.

Thus, these tiny pests can only survive if there is water surface tension. Ants take oxygen through the tiny tubes around their bodies called spiracles.

And these tubes need to be stored with water to drown. Luckily for ants, these tubes are so small that they need a lot of flow for water molecules to pass through the small openings.

Ants can shut these small holes and stop their breathing for a long time to keep floating in the water. That is why we all possibly see these insects floating in water for some moment before they drown in the water.

How fast do ants drown?

Commonly, an ant can survive around 24 hours or 1day in the water. They can shut their spiracles while drowning underwater and can be alive without taking oxygen for one day or even more.

Ants may decide how long it will take them to submerge in the water. Also, the current environmental circumstances, including the temperature of the water, will influence how long they can survive in the water before submerging.

They can float commonly and also relish a natural water force caused by the surface tension of water. There are some ant species, such as fire ants, that can survive around 14 days in the water before moving to a new place. Nonetheless, they can also submerge underwater.


So, these are all details about ants, like how long they can survive in the water? And how do they breathe? etc. For an ant, a small proportion of water is like a flood.

Luckily for these little species of insects, they can float in the water for a long time. Also, they can heal even after being drowned in a flood. How long an ant can float in the water depends on the species of ants.

Nonetheless, the majority of ant species can float in the water for around one day. Other ant species can stay alive for up to 2 weeks in the water.

Whether you put them in cold or hot water, the majority of them will possibly be able to stay alive and just move to another location. Ant territories in your place can be much bigger than they seem on the ground. This is why any number of these little insects you want to destroy will most likely be inconsequential.