Stepping on Ants Barefoot? You Shouldn’t (And This Is Why)

Albeit not common, you will find once in a while columns of ants marching left and right on the floor. This will happen due to several reasons, but the most probable one is that they found food somewhere and are now taking it back to their nest.

Of course, you cannot permit this situation to go on and on, and you really shouldn’t. When you observe an ant infestation like that, the tendency will be to increase in the following days.

And although very tempting, you shouldn’t kill ants by stepping on them, especially barefoot! Killing ants barefoot may lead to a series of consequences that can aggravate your main problem (the ant infestation).

It might feel good at the time, but you are setting yourself to failure due to some possible consequences. We are going to list them all in this article, so keep reading for more.

Fire ants crawling on top of barefoot stepping grass
Barefoot on grass full of fire ants crawling into it.

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Step on Ants Barefoot

We all have done this before, everybody has killed ants barefoot at least once in their lives. But just because we did it, doesn’t mean we should, and here’s why.

1. You Will Be Attracting Other Ants

Many people don’t know this but when you step on ants, they will release oleic acid. This will signal other ants into responding to it’s smell, which results in a bunch more ants coming into your house or wherever you have spread that with your feet.

Killing ants barefoot may sound like a quick and fun idea to do but in fact, you’ll be attracting even more ants. Putting this into perspective, if you are trying to get rid of them for good, you’ve just done the opposite.

Use the proper means to dispose of an ant infestation and you’ll be dodging a big bullet on this one.

2. You Will Be Attracting Other Bugs

Do you know which creatures like to eat dead ants? Flies, Cockroaches, Spiders, Centipedes, and many others. If you already don’t like the idea of ants roaming around your house, imagine a few more bugs running in there to get some dead ant carcass.

When you squash ants barefoot you are putting a whole ecosystem into play. Other bugs will come and they will come to where dead ants are. Doesn’t matter if they’re on the floor, or on top of your precious bed. If they are hungry they will follow the smell.

3. You Can Get Sick

Believe it or not, ants can make you sick. It is very unlikely to happen because the majority of ants in the US aren’t directly harmful to people. But ants can carry dangerous diseases such as salmonella, shigella, streptococcus, and E. Coli.

And although this is only a reality for most third-world countries there is still a small chance it might happen. Especially if you keep stepping on ants time and time again in barefoot.

There are more effective ways to dispose of ants, stick to those for better results.

Bonus: This is the amazing reason why ants are attracted to human sperm. 🤢🤮🤮🤮

What Happens When You Step on an Ant?

When you step on an ant barefoot, it usually gets squashed and it will die. Some ants are small enough and stiff enough to survive one step.

If you are wearing shoes some ants may even escape between the spacing on your soles. But when they don’t manage to escape, they get squashed.

Do Ants Feel Pain When You Step on Them?

Unlike humans, ants only possess one nerve that acts like their spinal cord. That nerve is not capable of transmitting the signal for an ant to feel pain when they are stepped.

They are able to sense damage or that they are being damaged. But instead of feeling pain like humans do, they are more prone to become angry about it than anything else.

Can an Ant Survive Being Stepped On?

There is a small chance for an ant to survive when they are stepped on. The ant exoskeleton can be quite strong and their internal organs can even move around a little bit without major consequences.

However, ants cannot regenerate any lost limbs due to squashing, but they can heal cuts in their body when they are hurt.

Do You Feel Pain if You Step on Ants Barefoot?

Usually, when you step on black ants barefoot you will not feel any pain even if they survive the stomping. However, if we are talking about any other ant species such as red ants (fire ants) for example, they will bite and sting you over and over again.

When fire ants sting and bite your feet, you will feel an immediate burning sensation, that can hurt a lot depending on your tolerance level to pain.

Pro tip: Do ants bite you at night? Do this immediately! 😱😨😨😨

How to Proper Clean Your Floors After Stepping on Ants in Barefoot?

One of the best ways to clean your floors if you steeped on ants barefoot is to vacuum them thoroughly and mop them if you can. This will ensure that your floor will be perfectly clean independently of where you’ve stepped.

Don’t forget to clean your vacuum and your mop after so you won’t be attracting ants to them. If you have a vacuum robot don’t forget to empty it as well. If you don’t, you may end up carrying ants even further in your house in case of infestation.

Is It a Good Idea to Step on Ants Barefoot?

Stepping on ants barefoot is never a good idea, especially if you are doing it inside your house to deal with an ant infestation. Dead ants will attract other ants, a whole species of other bugs, and they can make you sick

If you are having an ant problem reach out to a professional exterminator, or try some commercial solutions to aid you.


While it may sound fun, stepping on ants barefoot will never be the best solution when it comes to getting rid of them. You are setting up for failure against your innocent actions.

Now that you’ve learned why you shouldn’t do it, don’t forget that next time you are barefoot and see some ants roaming around your floors.