How Do Ant Colonies Survive Rain?

Ants are tiny little creatures that seem to thrive no matter the situation or the location. They always pop up with their homes during the spring months, and despite crazy weather anywhere in the world, ants survive through it all.

Ants are rough and tough creatures, which can often make them hard to get rid of in your home. However, it should be noted that rain is certainly not a simple little shower for them like it is for us as human. In fact, rain could be a scary thing for ants.

Picture the drops falling on your home being the size of boulders. Your home would be flooded in no time. Luckily, ants are resilient, and they have been equipped with a set of skills that allows them to build strongholds within their nests to keep them safe during a rainstorm.

How Do Anthills Survive the Rain?

As mentioned before, ants make their nest strong and defensive to protect against invaders that include rain. Their homes act like a fortress for the protection of the colony, but most importantly, it prevents the queen from getting killed.

Anthills or the ant mounds are the first defense put in place for the ants. Typically, they will build their nests from a soil that absorbs moisture well and dries quickly. This is to prevent the soil from absorbing too much water.

The shape of the hill or mound is also made to drain off the water in a better way. The cone shape helps guide the water down the sides of the anthill instead of down into the ant nest. When the water is not being collected directly at the top, the ants can safely stay inside during the rain.

However, heavy rain is inevitable at some point. When that happens, the second line of defense takes over. The ants build their nests with several short tunnels that are used to filter out and drain water from the inside of the nest.

There are also several air pockets within the tunnels that help prevent the water from getting inside the various chambers in their nests. Should the rain get past the top and the drainage tunnels, these air pockets can be a valuable resource for keeping the nest dry.

There are several species of ants that have alarm systems through the minor workers and a scent trail to warn the other ants in the colony of coming rain. This allows the ants to brace for a rainstorm and even move to safe tunnels within the nest for protection.

Where They Go

Ants do not simply hang out around their nests all the time. At some point, they are going to be out foraging, and they are going to get caught in the rain. That is just a part of life. I mean, even we get caught in the rain sometimes.

Should an ant get caught in the rain during their foraging time, they typically stay put to try to finish their job, especially if the food is found under a protective roof. Ants do not die that easily. Should they get hit with a raindrop, they simply keep on their way until they can find protection to wait it out.

What to Do in Case of Flooding

Ants are resilient, yes, but should their home become flooded completely; they’re not going to stay put. I mean, would you stay in your home if it were flooded? Ants tend to float themselves to dry ground to create a new nest if their old one becomes full of water.

There are several species of ants that will find things to float on or even create life rafts out of themselves to protect the queen and the larvae from dying in the flood waters. Fire ants are one type that uses their worker ants to connect together to make a raft.

Once the ants find something to float on or make their own raft, they will drift around until they can either find a dry spot or until the flood waters recede. If the ants create their raft, many of the worker ants that perform the duty will die.

Not only at their resilient at protecting their queens and larvae, but ants are pretty creative too. They use their instincts to do all they can to protect the colony, even if that means sacrificing themselves to do so. They will also be quick to rebuild, using that creativity again to start fresh after the flood.

Water as a Treatment

If you are hoping to use water as an ant treatment to get rid of them, you might want to rethink that idea. As we’ve seen before, ants are resilient, and water of any kind, including rainwater, does not deter them from sticking around your house or yard.

If there is food nearby, chances are, the ants are going to stay despite the water. Instead of using water to eliminate the ant infestations, you could try using natural means like cinnamon, or use a pesticide to take back your home.

Should you find that your home is overrun by ants and the rainwater isn’t pushing them away from your location, professional help can always be sought to help eliminate the nests both in your yard and inside your home.


Ants are small creatures, but they are tough. Rainwater, no matter how much, is not a scary thing to them. In fact, ants are equipped with special instincts that help protect them from the damage of rainwater.

They have a series of protections they go through to keep the colony and themselves safe from rainwater. Their homes are built specifically with a shape to drain the water away, and the tunnels inside help drain out the water that makes its way inside.

If ants are caught outside in the rainwater, their strength and durability helps protect them from drowning from a single raindrop. Once they see rain, they find the nearest safe spot to wait out the rainstorm. If they are working, they continue their work as long as it is safe.

Should the rainwater flood the ants’ nest, they will also take measures to find a floatation device of creating one out of themselves to protect the queen and the larvae from drowning in the water. Even though some of the ants die by doing this, they still work hard to protect their own.

Ants are interesting creatures, and their resiliency to withstand rainwater is just one of the features that makes them so interesting. If you are trying to rid your yard or home of ants, remember that water will not deter them.

Instead, you should seek other means of elimination like natural sources or professional help to take back your yard and home. Ants are tough, and rainwater will not kill them as quickly as it might seem. This is why water is not an effective means of ant treatment in or out of the home.

1 thought on “How Do Ant Colonies Survive Rain?”

  1. What about a pressure washer,I mean I like ants more after reading this.just saying I think a pressure washer would work maybe even tear them apart but that’s a little brutal /:


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