Termites or Ants: Is There a Trade Off?

It’s not common knowledge that termites and ants are mortal enemies, but who wins in a fight? It really depends on the size of the termite colony and the type of ants involved. Arizona termite colonies grow exponentially once the queen lays her first set of eggs. Each lay after that first one will be larger. The first born of the new king and queen are tended by their parents, and for the most part this group will be raised to feed the king and queen and the new termites when the next clutch hatches. Soon the colony begins to produce soldiers that protect the colony by getting their large heads stuck in the access tunnels. These soldiers have large mandibles and will effectively block access to the nest defending it with their lives. As they age these soldiers will develop two chemical chambers on their backs that are toxic when the chemicals mix together. The termites blow up their “backpacks” and the  “explosions” are toxic to predator ants. The chemicals stick to the ants and kill them in their tracks.

The ants that could possibly overcome the defenses of the termite colony must be larger more aggressive types of ants. Your everyday sugar ants or “tickle ants” are no match for a termite colony; although carpenter ants would decimate the termites effectively; they also eat your wood.

The reason I bring this up is that there is a website where the question was asked, “do ant infestations prevent termites?” From the perspective of pest control and home protection there is no real trade off. Fire ants in Florida keep virtually all other insects that creep on the ground away because they kill anything for food, but fire ants also bite people and eat the roots of grass and other vegetation. I’ve seen these ants make short work of a frog or a lizard. I wouldn’t recommend them as a barrier against termites because they are harmful.

Clearly, if the question is about protecting your home from termites in Scottsdale, your termite control specialist has a pleasant alternative to finding and promoting a hostile ant colony on your property. Home inspections for termites should be part of your yearly maintenance plan.

 

Phoenix AZ –

Termite Control Arizona

3317 East Bell Road #101

Phoenix, AZ 85032

(602) 904-6587