Can Ants Get Inside of Our Brains and Bite Them? Are you an avid camper, hiker, or outdoorsman? If so, questioning the danger of certain bug species is not outside the realm of reasonable worry.
If you spend a lot of time in the outdoors, you are bound to encounter your fair share of ants and other annoying, yet harmless bugs. Ants are one of the most common species of insects in the world.
With over 1,000 species of ants in North America alone, and even more variety on the contents of Asia and Africa. The good news is; ants are not particularly dangerous.
Ants can be a threat if in the proper environment. When deep in the wilderness with little or no protective clothing, netting, or bug repellent, you may find yourself in bad shape after a run-in with an ant colony.
Many species of ants have sharp mandibles and can cause a great deal of pain when biting a human. Fire ants have a particularly dangerous bite, being one of the only ant species to inject solenopsin, which is a type of venom, into human flesh.
Even fire ants will not cause lasting damage to an adult human. Although potentially dangerous to our outer layer of skin, ants often pose no real threat to our health and wellbeing.
The amount of people who have been harmed due to an ant entering the cranial cavity is zero due to the anatomical and psychological aspects that make this an impossibility.
If you fear ants invading the delicate area of your brain, read on – Can Ants Get Inside of Our Brains and Bite Them?
When questioning the potential harm an insect can wreak on a human body, it is important to consider the possible portals of entry. A portal of entry is a site in which organisms can enter the body. Various portals of entry include:
Ants are small, averaging 1-2millimeters each, making them the perfect size to slip into a human ear canal or nostril. Although unlikely, ants entering the human body can indeed cause slight harm.
Ants can cause damage to the ear canal if stuck in ear wax which causes them to panic, but can ants bite our human brains? No! Ants cannot enter the human brain and bite them.
There are two main factors as to why an ant cannot possibly get to the human brain and bite it. Firstly, the structure of the head would not allow for it. The human ear is quite complex and has several security measures that would not let any insect get near our brain.
From the outer ear, our brains are protected by our tympanic membrane, which is the thin layer commonly referred to as the eardrum.
For an ant to reach the other side of the tympanic membrane, it would have to chew through it, Insects usually do not intend to be inside the human ear, typically stumbling into the canal thinking it is a warm, inhabitable place.
When they realize it is not a sufficient place for their life to thrive, ants will usually do their best to vacate the canal. Only if an ant is experiencing starvation or severe anxiety will it ever feel the need to chew through a tough obstacle such as the eardrum.
If the unfortunate happens and an ant can venture through your eardrum, or an ant climbs through a nostril, there’s another protective measure that the body has put in place to protect its most valuable possession; the brain!
Cerebrospinal fluid is the clear fluid that surrounds the brain. This fluid has many purposes, most of which include protecting the brain from injuries. The fluid attempts to keep your brain in place if your head is jostled, to cushion any potential trauma from impact.
Thankfully, this fluid will also prevent any unlikely creatures from reaching your brain. Ants do not die due to contact with water, but they cannot be fully submerged and reach your brain with vigor. If the ants can’t reach your brain, they most certainly cannot bite it.
Nostrils also do a great job of safeguarding our brains from ants and other insects. The human anatomy makes it so anything entering our nostrils is much more likely to go down our food/windpipe rather than up into our sinuses.
Another reason why ants will never have access to our brains through our noses is that the small inner workings that allow for scents to reach our brain are much too small for even the diameter of a tiny, stealthy ant.
If you are worried about ants biting your brain, there is a good likelihood that you spend a decent amount of time in ant-infested environments such as the woods, or you live in an area with a particularly severe ant problem.
Many enthusiastic campers get turned off of outdoor activities after a nasty run-in with an ant or other insects.
The most important way to keep ants away from your person is to wear bug spray. Several options are available when it comes to bug spray, including brands created specifically for deep wood activities such as hiking and camping.
Bug sprays work by disguising the prominent scent of carbon dioxide that all human bodies emit. Carbon Dioxide is our natural respiratory waste product present in your skin, sweat, and breath. Holding your breath isn’t an option, but these sprays are the next best thing.
If you have an allergy to these bug repellents, wearing a net designed for mosquitos can also keep ants far away from your body, and therefore far away from your brain.
These nets have tiny holes that allow for movement and breathing but are so small as to not permit any insect to find its way to your body, including pesky ants.
Do not fret, ants physically cannot reach your brain, nor can they bite it.