Ant Mounds

Ants create nests in many places, but in North America their nests are mostly constructed underground or in fallen logs. Ants are constantly excavating their underground homes and carrying the soil up to the surface. They can create large mounds of soil and sand outside their nest entrances. Some ants build up their mounds with sticks and pine needles and bits of grass. This visible part is called an "ant hill" or an "ant mound." Often a single nest will have more than one opening. If you see an ant mound, look for signs of ant activity nearby.

As these pictures show, ant mounds can take many different forms. (Click on any image for larger version.)

Photo of ant mound in empty lot

Ant mound in empty lot, New Mexico

Photo of ant holes in empty lot

Ant mound in empty lot, New Mexico (different ant species)

Ant mound at edge of sidewalk and grass, New Mexico

Ant hill, Colorado

Photo of fire ant mound

Fire ant mound

University of Michigan Museum of ZoologyNational Science Foundation

BioKIDS home  |  Questions?  |  Animal Diversity Web  |  Cybertracker Tools

BioKIDS is sponsored in part by the Interagency Education Research Initiative. It is a partnership of the University of Michigan School of Education, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, and the Detroit Public Schools. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant DRL-0628151.
Copyright © 2002-2021, The Regents of the University of Michigan. All rights reserved.

University of Michigan