Ants for Termite Control
When termite control is important to you, you might be willing to consider any option to get rid of your pests. While unusual and still being researched, the introduction of ants may be something to consider. However, first you’ll want to make sure that your pests are, in fact, termites, and not ants to begin with.
Differences Between Ants and Termites
Because both ants and termites tend to swarm and both have similar looking homes in the dirt, it can be easy to confuse the two types of pest. Before you treat, and even before you call an exterminator to pursue treatment, you’ll want to make sure what type of but you are fighting, because they are treated very differently.
In order to determine whether the bugs causing your problems are ants or termites, you’ll want to capture a specimen to examine or find evidence of activity such as termite droppings. Don’t worry! You won’t have to kill the pest yourself, just get a hold of it or get it in a jar so you can look at it carefully.
There are two elements to examine when determining which type of pest you have. First, you’ll want to look at the number of body segments the pest in question has. Ants have three very distinct segments to their bodies, almost looking, at times, like three small beads strung together. Termites, on the other hand, only have two segments, and they may be less obviously separated than those of the ant.
The other element of the bug to examine is its antennae. These may be hard to see because they’re so small, so you may want to put a white piece of paper behind the bug so you can make out details more clearly. The antennae of the termite will be long and straight, while those of the ant will be bent, near the middle, at roughly a 90 degree angle.
If you examine your bug and still aren’t sure what it is, feel free to contact your local exterminator. They should be able to determine its species with a glance.
Using Ants for Termite Control
Though sometimes mistaken for one another, ants and termites are actually mortal enemies. They do not like to inhabit the same areas and often will have massive conflicts if, for some reason, they do. As ants are generally stronger, they usually come out victorious.
For this reason, some exterminators are interested in using ants as a form of termite control. Though it does mean the introduction of another pest to the situation, ants generally cause less damage and are easier to control than termites. Having them around, while still annoying, will not cause structural damage to your home and is, therefore, preferable to having termites.
The exact means and method for introducing ants in such a way that they will be sure to destroy the termites is still in the experimental stages. Therefore, this is not, at this time, a very common method of pest control. While initial tests have been promising and the premise itself seems legitimate, it will probably take at least several more years before this is a widely-practiced method of getting rid of termites.
If you’re seriously interested in using ants for termite control, you’ll want to see if there is an exterminator in your area who is willing to work with you. Because the treatment is so new and still being researched, it may be hard to find someone who offers it as part of their extermination services. However, careful research may yield what you’re looking for.