Can You Stop an Ant Death Spiral?

The ant death spiral is formed when ants follow the pheromone signal and start moving round and round in a locked motion. Some ants use their eyes to look at a path toward a food source, while many ants cannot see clearly or are blind like army ants.

Can You Stop an Ant Death Spiral? You can stop an ant death spiral by using ant repellants or connecting a food trail with a spiral that diverts their attention. Furthermore, create an alternative channel by using some pleasant smells like flowers, scented candles, and inks. They produce a chemical signal to the blind ants, which allows them to get out of the circle by following a scent trail. It is essential to stop the death spiral to reduce exhaustion and increases lifespan. In addition, you have to disrupt the rotating circle to unlock the running so that they do not die of exhaustion and starvation. 

Many people see ant death spirals, but a few try to stop it. It is challenging to interfere in their path because they can sting you.

What Causes an Ant Death Spiral? 

When the ants start moving in a circular direction for a long time, an ant death spiral forms.

The blind ants begin to follow each other by recognizing the pheromone signal and trap themselves in a non-ending running cycle.

Moreover, they cannot detect food without sniffing a trail, so they follow the chemical and enter a circular column.

They lose track and move in a spiral motion. The name death spiral indicates that it leads to death ultimately due to exhaustion.

How to Stop an Ant Death Spiral?

There are some ways to get the ants out of the death spiral. First, they follow a pheromone trail, so you can provide them with some other channel to move.

Connect a food trail 

You can connect a food trail close to the ant spiral that can deviate their attention towards a new path. For example, use sugar syrup or juice and spill it on the floor in a straight line.

They recognize the food source and try to reach their target. You can change their path and move them out of the ant mill.

Create alternate channel 

In addition, you can create an alternate channel by providing moisture. Similarly, you can use any flower with a good smell or scented candles with a sweet aroma like candy.

Furthermore, you can also use pen ink as some inks contain pheromones that can help change their path.


You can use ant-repellant sprays or deterrents to repel the ants from a particular location. A powder of cinnamon and coffee ground can stop these insects efficiently.

Furthermore, they do not like the smell of vinegar and mint, which can also act as effective ant-repellants and stop their locked movement.

Boiling water

Some people use boiling water over an ant mill, but it is cruel to use hot water on these insects.

Furthermore, it can lead to their death quickly because they are not resistant to high temperatures like us.

Do ant die of exhaustion?

The ants move continuously in a circle and feel exhausted after some time. The self-organizing feature of these insects that makes them unique can cause their death.

When running at high speed, they feel extreme thirst and hunger. In addition, excessive physical activity and the unavailability of nutrients can make them feel exhausted.

So, these insects will die due to their frequent counterclockwise motion.

Why Would You Stop an Ant Death Spiral?

An ant death spiral can cause the death of these tiny creatures, so it is essential to stop this never-ending circular motion to save their life.

Reduce exhaustion

It is essential to stop an ant death circle to stop the physical activity of these ants. Continuous running can lead to exhaustion in these insects.

A swarm of ants keeps moving, and it looks like a rotating circle. They will ultimately die if you do not interfere in their motion.

Increase lifespan

There is a significant risk of life in ants trapped in a death circle. There is no end to this spiral trap because these insects move by sensing the pheromones.

These pheromones act as signals and help locate food and return home. These insects follow the scent of the leading ant and move in the same direction.

Therefore, all the ants following each other will become part of this spiral.

You can improve the lifespan of these tiny insects by interfering in their motion and directing them towards another location.

Disruption of a rotating circle

It is better to disrupt a rotating circle; otherwise, the death of ants occurs sooner or later. The rotating circle, or you can say it, is an ant mill where all of these insects move continuously.

It occurs due to their unique sensing ability to recognize pheromones. You can stop their movement by disrupting the circle with any stick or adding a physical barrier in their way.

Unlock running

Ants in a death spiral exhibit locked running means that they can run in an irregular circular column and do not deviate from their path.

You can unlock their running by providing them with an alternative path to run.

These insects cannot break the loop due to poor vision, so you have to help these tiny creatures get out of this death spiral.

Deal with starvation

When ants move continuously in a circular motion for a long time, they can feel starvation. They cannot leave the spiral to get their food; instead, they keep moving.

So, you have to stop this deadly rotating circle from protecting these insects. Otherwise, the death spiral is a killing machine that can kill many insects in a short time.

Are ant death spirals real?

Ant death spirals are not a myth; instead, they are real. It is true that ants move round and round in a circle and can spread over a large area.

They keep following each other and become part of this circle that can lead to their death. I have seen a death spiral of these insects in my backyard.

It looked like an ant spiral to me; when I got closer to it to get a clearer view, it was an ant death spiral.

 Some were moving quickly in a rotating circle, while a few of them were dead. So, ant death spirals are real, and there is no myth behind them.

How to make ant death spiral? 

It is easy to make an ant death spiral as ants are attracted to the smell that gives a signal like pheromones. However, you can put a food source in the garden that will grab the attention of ants.

When an ant reaches the food sources, it will attract other insects by pheromone signaling. This way, you can create a circle of these running insects.

In addition, you can also put a flower with a pleasant smell that can attract them. To make an ant spiral, you have to attract these insects, which is only possible by providing a food source that can be sweet.

Ants like the sweet taste, so they cannot resist themselves to reach it.

One of my friends tried to drip sugar syrup on the ground by making a circle. It worked well, and they started moving round and round on this route.

Related Articles:

Why do ants keep drowning themselves?

Do Ants Have Blood?