Can you choke ants

Why do the little ants build such big mounds?

Did you know? NABU answers children's questions

Ants do not like to live alone and therefore build a nest for themselves. The nests, which we often call anthills, can be over a meter high and can go at least as deep into the earth. Why do the ants make their mounds so big?

Anthill - Photo: Helge May

Ants never live alone - an ant colony contains a few hundred to several million insects. And of course they need space. That is why wood ants build a nest. We often call the part of their home that is above the ground an “anthill”. It consists of earth, plant fibers or resin. The queen ant incubates the eggs in her nest.

So that other animals or humans cannot break this nest so easily, the ants build it so large. So a large anthill protects the ants and their larvae.

A second reason why anthills are so big: the larger the nest, the more heat it can store. It is very important that the hill is warm, especially after winter, because the warmth wakes the ants from their hibernation. As soon as their home gets warmer, they become active again, look for food and continue building the nest.

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