While we can rarely hear them, ants do in fact make noise. They use their bodies to produce make chirp-like and other sounds to communicate. They use these sounds to relay different signals including alarm and mating.
In this article, we’ll learn more about the following:
- Do ants make vocal noises?
- How do ants make noise?
- Why do ants make noise?
- Can we hear the noises that ants make?
Do Ants Make Vocal Noises?
No, ants don’t make vocal noises. Ants don’t have vocal cords and can’t speak like us humans. Instead, they make use of their bodies to produce sound.
How Do Ants Make Noise?
As mentioned, ants make noise by using their bodies. They do so in 2 ways: drumming and stridulation.
Drumming is a relatively simple form of sound production. Ants do it by repeatedly knocking their bodies on a substrate such as a wall or the ground. This produces a noise that mimics the sound produced by wasps to scare off predators
Stimulation is considered to be a sophisticated sound-producing behavior. It produces the chirp-like sound that ants make. 
Ants produce this sound by rubbing parts of their body together. More specifically, they rub two sections of their gaster. They use one section as a scraper to rub against a row of bumps or file in another.
Why Do Ants Make Noise?
Ants make noise to communicate. While deaf to air-borne sounds, ants can detect and interpret sound through vibrations.
For example, ants use drumming to produce an alarm signal. This allows them to notify their colony mates of danger or a disturbance to the nest.
On the other hand, ants use stridulation in 3 different ways. These ways are as follows:
- Alarm Signal: Like with drumming, ants may use stridulation to send out alarm signals. For example, some ant species stridulate when they get buried or trapped to call for help.
- Mating Signal: Stridulation has been observed during the mating of young Pogonomyrmex queens. These queens stridulate when they’re done mating. This notifies drones to stop pursuing them and allows them to escape the swarm and head to safety.
- Complement to Pheromones: Some ants stridulate to complement communication via pheromones. Along with chemicals, these ants use sound as a signal to initiate nest-moving.
Can We Hear the Noises Ants Make?
The sounds that ants make, specifically through stridulation are barely audible. That said, they are in the audible range of humans. If we get close enough, we too can perceive these chirps.
Drumming, on the other hand, can be loud. Especially when it’s done by many ants at once. In the video above, you can easily hear ants drumming. It sounds like a wave or a crowd clapping.
Can Ants Hear?
Yes, ants can hear. But they don’t hear in the same way that we humans do. Unlike us, ants are deaf to air-borne sound. They can, however, perceive sound through substrate borne-vibrations. This means that they hear by detecting vibrations transmitted through solid objects.
Check out this article to learn more about how ants hear.
How Do Ants Communicate?
Ants mostly communicate through chemical signals called pheromones. They use these pheromones to forage, identify colony mates, and even identify the dead. Aside from that, they can also communicate through sound, body language, and touch.
See this article to learn more about how ants communicate.
To summarize, ants do make noise. They’re not as quiet as they seem. They make high-pitched chirps and other sounds by stridulation or drumming. They use these sounds to send signals to their nestmates and to scare off predators.