The Differences Between Ants And Termites

The Differences Between Ants And Termites

Termites and ants may seem like they are two very similar species, but the reality is that they are from two completely different families of insects. In fact, termites are more closely related to cockroaches than they are to ants. Despite this, both species live in colonies, use flying reproductives to build new colonies, and have a caste system with a queen at the top. You even have ant species, such as the carpenter ant, that will infest and damage wood. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the differences between these two very similar insects.

Behavioral differences

One of the major differences between ants and termites is how they forage for food. Termites are very prone to dehydration, to the point where they simply die if they are out in the open for too long. This means that it’s pretty much impossible for termite workers to leave the colony. Ants on the other hand, do not have this problem. They are capable of traveling outside their colonies, and they often do so in search for food or for any other reason.

Dietary differences

Termites are well known for their voracious appetite for wood. They will eat anything that is made out of cellulose, but they will mainly target wood, especially if the wood is decaying or high in moisture content. Ants have a much more varied diet. They eat plants, sugars, carbohydrates and protein. You will see ants eating everything from cake to dead animals. Even carpenter ants, which are the most similar ant species to termites, will have a normal ant diet, and they will only dig through wood to build their colonies inside of it.

Differences in treatment methods

The two species are also controlled through very different means. Since termites do not leave their colonies, the treatment options available are more complex than those needed to treat ants. For example, one way to treat subterranean termite infestations is to install a chemical barrier in the ground surrounding the home. If you are dealing with an ant infestation, you can use repellents to drive ants away from certain areas of the home, or you can use baits to kill off as many workers as possible and eventually kill the queen itself. If you are dealing with an ant or termite infestation, and you would like to know more information about the treatment options available and their costs, contact us today.