Termites and Ants
Termites and ants are difficult to differentiate from one another. Even present terminologies are confusing. Termites are also called ìwhite antsî and red fire ants are termed ìred termites.î However, it is very important to differentiate these two insects in order to apply the appropriate treatment and pest control procedures.
Termites and ants exhibit different behaviors and reactions towards their environment. Termites are highly destructive to properties as they feed voraciously on wood which is their main food source. Ants, on the other hand, are scavengers and will consume anything within their reach. They do not only feed on wood. This difference in feeding behavior shows that termites present a more severe problem to human beings than ants do.
Pesticides that specifically kill termites might not work with ants and pesticides that target ants may not eradicate termites. There are only few products in the market that could kill both termites and ants. So in approaching pest problems in our homes and properties, we need to accurately identify termites from ants before applying chemicals so as not to waste our money and our time.
Termites and ants may be differentiated from one another through their habitats and morphology. Ants usually form colonies on surfaces. These are practical settings for their scavenging behavior. Ants use their saliva to construct mounds or hills made of dirt and plant materials. These mounds, however, have weak structural integrity and serve only as temporary environments for food acquisition.
Termites, on the other hand, are unable to withstand the harsh environment on the surface and create mounds of dirt that are stronger than those created by ants to effectively control their environment. These mounds also have more complicated architecture. There are at least two popular species of termites that prefer to construct their mounds underground. These niches are favorable for their reproduction and survival.
In terms of insect morphology, termites and ants closely resemble each other. However, upon closer examination, one can identify several differences in their biological construction. For example, the antennae of termites are segmented and look like strings of beads while the antennae of ants are elbowed. Termites do not usually have eyes and use other senses when navigating underground or searching for food. Some termites have compound eyes which are underdeveloped and not fully functional. Ants, on the other hand, have compound eyes that help them scavenge for food on the surface.
These are among the common differences between termites and ants. Being knowledgeable on these features will help us in deciding how best to approach our pest problems. Less severe problems of termite or ant colonization can be addressed personally but there are experts on pest management who can efficiently eradicate severe pest problems and pesticide resistant organisms.
For more information or help to eradicate termites at your home or office, check out our special offer at our termite treatment page.