Ants communicate through 5 different modes of communication. These modes include pheromones, sound, body language, trophallaxis, and touch. Out of all these, they rely most on pheromones. The rest are less developed and are mainly used to complement chemical communication.
In this article, we’ll learn more about how ants communicate as we discuss their different modes of communication.
Ants mostly communicate through chemical signals called pheromones. Through these pheromones, they relay different types of information. 
For example, ants use pheromones when they forage. As they look for food, they make sure to leave a pheromone trail. Whenever they find food, they reinforce this trail as they head back to their nests.
This reinforced trail communicates the presence of food to other worker ants. It tells them to follow the trail to the food source and help with collection.
Ants also use pheromones to send alarm signals. They can use pheromones to alert the colony, call for help, or evoke aggression.
Ants produce sounds to communicate. They do so in 2 ways: drumming and stridulation.
To drum, ants repeatedly strike the substrate with their bodies. It’s often used to send alarm signals whenever there’s a disturbance in the colony nest.
Stridulation, on the other hand, is done by rubbing two sections of the gaster together. This produces a chirp-like sound that can relay alarm or mating signals. They’re also used to complement chemical communication.
Trophallaxis is a social-fluid exchange found in social insects like ants. It typically refers to feeding through the mouth-to-mouth transfer of food and nutrients. However, research has found that ants also use trophallaxis to pass information and memories. 
For example, ants use trophallaxis to share information about a food source. Ants that engage in trophallaxis exhibit changes in foraging behavior. They start foraging for food that they used to avoid.
Trophallaxis also affects how ants interact with other animals they haven’t encountered.
For example, Tetramorium tsushimae ants are naturally aggressive toward aphids. However, those that have tended to aphids before learn to moderate their aggression. Ants that engage in trophallaxis with these members become less aggressive toward aphids. This is in spite of the fact, that they have never tended to aphids before.
Ants also communicate through body language. Desert ants, for example, can communicate through simple interactions. They identify scouts have found food and are recruiting depending on their speed. Those that have retained their high speed after they encounter other ants. On the other hand, those that haven’t adjusted their speed after every encounter. 
Lastly, ants are also known to communicate with touch. For example, African weaver ants relay information by touching each other’s antennae. They do this during recruitment for food finds or for defense against intruders.
Can Ants Hear?
Ants can hear, but not in the same way as us humans. Ants are deaf to airborne sounds. They can, however, detect sound through substrate-borne vibrations. This means that they can hear sound through vibration passing through solids.
Check out this article to learn how ants hear.
How Do Ants Find Food?
Ants find food by foraging. Ant colonies regularly send out worker ants to find found around their nests. These ants travel long distances and rely on their keen sense of smell to detect food.
Once they find food, they head back to their nests to inform their colony mates. They then recruit fellow workers through pheromones and other modes of communication.
Read this article to learn more about how ants find food.
Summary: How Do Ants Communicate?
To summarize, ants communicate through the following modes of communication:
- Body language
For the most part, ants use pheromones as their main mode of communication. However, they also use the rest to complement pheromones or relay different information. For example, they can use trophallaxis to transmit information and memories.