Did you know that ants are among the cleanest of insects?
I caught this weaver ant grooming its antennae meticulously. It was taking its time, to make sure it did a great job. You can see in the shot that it is brushing its left antenna with its foreleg. (There is a larger version to view if you like.)
Ants lick themselves with an oily saliva to clean and oil their bodies. Their antennae are an important sensory organ, so they groom and clean them very often. An ant pulls one antenna with its front leg, using a special brush of hairs which grows at the “wrist”. Then it uses its mouth to remove any dirt from the brush. It repeats these motions until it is satisfied.
Ants also groom each other. Older ants will help young ants to clean their antennae and bodies.