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When we think of pests, we don’t usually think of ants. We think of rats, cockroaches and termites. Ants for the most part are just wandering around the home foraging for food, and will leave as soon as the food sources are exhausted. So can they even compete with the amount of damage that termites do and be considered true pests? Let’s find out.

The dangers of termites

Termites are known for the fact that they destroy the wood of the home. There are three main species in home infestations: subterranean termites, drywood termites, and dampwood termites. Of the three, subterranean termites are the most dangerous, because they can build colonies with millions of members that can damage the home very quickly. This makes them the most damaging pest species in the US.

The dangers of ants

Most ant species are harmless, but there are a handful that are genuine pests. To start you have the fire ants, which are aggressive stingers that will swarm anyone who gets too close to their nests. Then you have carpenter ants. Carpenter ants will build their colony in the wood of the home, which will cause damage similar to drywood and dampwood termites, but not as much as subterranean termites.

Pharaoh ants can also be very dangerous. These tiny ants are capable of spreading at least a dozen diseases, including salmonella and E. coli. To make matters worse, when these ants infest hospitals, they will often enter the wounds of the patients or IV bottles. Finally, there is the odorous house ant. While this species is not as dangerous as the others on the list, odorous house ants are still capable of being a giant thorn in the side, because they release a rotten odor whenever they are killed.

How both species are controlled

Termites and ants are controlled quite differently. Termites have several specialized methods that can only be applied to them, methods such as the chemical barrier, baiting system or fumigation. Ants on the other hand will be controlled either with direct-application insecticides or baits. For colonies that are visible and accessible, direct-application insecticides will be used, which will kill the colony almost instantly, and for carpenter ant colonies, or colonies that are inaccessible, baits will have to be used.

For more information about ant and termite control, or if either of these species has infested your home, contact us today.