Both termites and ants operate differently. It is fair to say that whatever they choose to attack, they do so voraciously and can cause massive losses if left unchecked.
Termites are known to chew on wood and are therefore a dangerous pest that can wreak untold havoc to timber and the structural integrity of structures built from wood.
While there are about 45 known species of termites in the US, they will all tend to fall under three categories as follows
The termites in this category live in the soil and are from the family Rhinotermitidae. These types of termites are the most destructive and are to be found in pretty every state in the US with the exception of Alaska.
They build their mounds and nest in the soil. The mounds consist of elaborate systems of mud tunnels that lead to food sources such as structural timber in house, fencing posts and trees.
Subterranean termites are the most destructive of the three groups because their colonies are larger and can build bigger homes in the soil with thousands of termites within a small area.
Kalotermitidae is the name of the family in which this category of termites belongs to. As the name suggests, this type of termite lives in dry wood and can be found in homes on the hardwood floor, ceiling, structural timber and dead trees.
Since they do not require contact with the soil and live in dry wood, their colonies are much smaller and therefore tend to cause less damage and at slower rate owing to their numbers.
- Damp wood
Damp wood termites belong in two families, that isHodotermitidae and Kalotermitidae. Although some of this termites do require contact with the soil. A majority of them do not. They live and feed off wood with mositure and are therefore less likely if at all to be found on homes or any other manmade structures.
A modest estimate of damage caused by termites annually in the US alone is about $5 billion.
Ants also have numerous species and can be very destructive in various ways. Some pesky ants that are commonly known to us include:
- Sugar ant.
Whilethey may not be very destructive, they can be anuisance by crawling all over your food.
- Carpenter ant
This one is quite a destructive ant specie because of the ability to make tunnels and nest in wood. They can weaken and damage structural timber and insulation foam in the home. A carpenter ant infestation will often mean a moisture problem in your home.
- Imported fire ants
Imported fire ants (Solenopsisinvicta and Solenopsisrichteri) are perhaps the most invasive ant species there is. That is because they can destroy crops,livestock and are a menace to human beings. This ants cause $6.7 billion in annual losses in the United States alone.
Termites are more specialized in destroying wood and homes, while ants will cause discomfort while destroying plants and livestock. Both pest are clearly very destructive and can cause massive losses.
Should you suspect an infestation of either on your premises, calling a pest official for an inspection and treatment if there is a need is a good ideas. An official will also help you in future preventative measures that help avert unnecessary losses from either of these pests.