Do Ants Eat Termites? Explained Like You’re 5

Yes, ants do eat termites.

But are ants a good option for termite control?

Will they wipe out the entire termite colonies from your yard or home and make your home termite-free?

No. We’ll tell you why you shouldn’t consider unleashing a bunch of ants on termites.

If that’s something interesting for you, then read on!

Do Ants Eat Termties

Why Do Ants Eat Termites

In nature, every species is in a pecking order, which we call the food chain.

And termites are no exception.

There are bugs, insects, birds, and mammals that love to relish on termites.

But why do ants eat termites?

The main reason is that both ants and termites are territorial competitors.

Both ants and termites live in rotting wood pieces under the soil and decaying tree stumps.

When they come close to each other, it’s an all-out war between ants and termites to control the same territory.

Ants try to kill and eat as many termites as possible to snatch the living space of termites from them.

Termites are soft-bodied, blind, and it’s a great source of protein for the ants.

But it isn’t easy for ants to kill and eat them.

Why?

It’s because termites are a formidable opponent to ants. And on top of it, termites are great escapers.

It’s isn’t easy for the ants to break through the termite mound and attack the termite colony.

Termites mounds are quite sturdy for ants to breakthrough.

Termites make the nests using mud and saliva, which makes the mounds quite robust.

So, ants will only invade a termite nest only when the mound breaks and gives the ants an easy entry to invade the termite colony.

Do Black Ants Eat Termites?

What Do Carpenter Ants Eat

You might be thinking that we’re only talking tiny red ants, also known as fire ants.

But whatever we mentioned in the post applies to black ants or carpenters too.

Yes, black ants do eat termites too.

Black ants also fail to eat off all the termites in a termite colony.

Black ants can also invade drywood termite colonies inside the furniture or structural lumber.

But, when black ants invade the drywood termites inside the wood, many termites escape.

Black ants being bigger, cannot chase the drywood termites deep inside the lumber. Thus, termites start the destruction again after a few days’ break.

Are Ants A Sign Of Termites?

No, ants of any type, including black ants (carpenter ants), are not a sure-shot sign of termites.

A broken termite mound that has made the termites freely roam in your yard can attract ants.

But that wouldn’t be the only reason that can draw ants to your home or yard.

Ants can exist in your home and yard without termites.

It’s because termites are one of the sources of nutrition for ants, not the only source.

Termites are a complement in an ant’s life. It’s not the focus.

Do Carpenter Ants Eat Wood?

Yes, carpenter ants do damage wood. But carpenter ants don’t eat wood.

Carpenter ants can drill through the wood to make nests inside.

If carpenter ants come across termites in the process of drilling, they’ll kill and eat the termites.

Do Ants Ever Win Against Termites?

Dead Termite

Not really.

As we said, termites don’t give up that easily.

And most importantly, termites have evolved over the years to deal with an ant invasion.

Even the termite larvae grow strong and sharp mandibles to fight against ants.

Plus, the soldier termites often fight against the ants till death to defend their colonies.

But that’s not all.

While termites are defending attacks against the ants, it gives a lot of time to other termites, including the queen termite, to
escape underground.

That’s why ants could never eat or kill all the termites inside a colony.

Many of the termites escape through the tunnels that run deep and far.

And ants cannot chase the termites because the tunnels that termites use to escape are too small for the ants to crawl.

So, what’s the result? Do the ants win?

No, they don’t. Ants eat a few termites.

But ants are never successful in eliminating termites from the termite colony.

The rest of the termites that escaped show up again.

Termites Vs. Ants – Who’s The Winner?

If you were to go by numbers, then termites are the winners in the battle between termites vs. ants, even if it’s the termites who faced the maximum casualties. 

The soldier termites, and the evolved larvae with strong mandibles, put up a good enough fight that allows other termites, including the queen termite, to escape. 

It allows the termites to regroup and infest again. 

Also, ants will eat only a specific number of termites that make them satiated.

When ants are full, they’ll leave. They won’t chase or kill the surviving termites for sport or fun. 

Given that termites always outnumber ants, the army of ants can’t kill the entire termite colony. 

Should You Use Ants To Get Rid Of Termites?

What Causes Termites To Invade Your House

No, you shouldn’t.

Thinking that unleashing some ants on a termite nest will remove termites from your home is a big mistake.

The presence of both termites and ants is risky for you and your home. It would be best if you get rid of both ants and termites.

And, as you know by now, ants can never wipe out an entire termite colony.

When termites are inside your home, then it’s harder for the ants to locate the termites and invade their nest.

It’s because ants don’t need to get hold of termites for nutrition.

They get both shelter and food from your home, making it highly unlikely for the ants to look for termites.

So, if you have either termites or ants in your home or yard, make sure to connect with a professional exterminator to get rid of them.

What Bugs Or Insects, Apart From Ants, Kill And Eat Termites?

Assassin bugs, ground beetles, spiders, nematodes, wasps, humpback flies, praying mantis, and dragon flies kill and eat termites.

But remember, that none of them can control termite infestation. Only a termite exterminator can do it.

Carpenter Black Ant

Conclusion

Ants do eat and kill termites. 

But ants are not a good option for termite control. 

There are two reasons for it –

  • Ants can never annihilate an entire termite colony. Once the ants have eaten enough of termites, they’ll leave. 
  • Termites are great escapers. When the soldier termites fight the ants, many termites escape through the tunnels that run deep. These tunnels are too narrow for the ants to crawl. 

Given the above two reasons, termites always come back.

So, if you have ants in your yard or home, don’t think that they would be your ally in termite control. 

Contact a professional pest controller to get rid of them.