Ants and termites can seem like they are two very similar species. However, the two are very far apart evolutionarily speaking, with termites being closer related to cockroaches than they are to ants. Let’s take a closer look at these two species and how they differ, especially from a pest control perspective.
There are numerous ant species that can infest the home, with most of them being completely harmless and no more than an eyesore. Of the species that are dangerous, you have pharaoh ants, fire ants and carpenter ants. Pharaoh ants develop very resilient colonies with multiple queens, and they are capable of spreading several diseases. Fire ants are known for their painful sting, with venom that can cause allergic reactions or serious symptoms in large quantities.
Carpenter ants are the species that resembles termites the most. They will damage the wood of the home by building colonies inside it, but unlike termites, they will not consume the wood. Carpenter ants retain their ant diet, which means that they have to go out and forage for food. This is good news because it’s the best way to detect a carpenter ant infestation – seeing large black ants traveling inside or around the home.
Termite infestations are much harder to detect, because termites cannot leave their colonies easily. So termites will remain mostly undetected when they infest the building.
There are three main termite subspecies that will infest the home – subterranean termites, drywood termites and dampwood termites. The first of the three will build large underground colonies, and the latter two will build colonies inside wood, like carpenter ants.
There are several control methods that can be used to deal with the various ant and termite subspecies with little cross over between them. For example, you can’t use ant baits to destroy termite colonies, and chemical barriers will do very little against an ant colony. This is why the inspection part of the control process is so important – it determines the best control method that can be used in a particular situation.
If you would like to know more information about ant and termite infestations, or if you have one of these two species in your home causing trouble, contact us today and one of our team members will help you out.