If you’re new to home ownership or management, it might not be too long until you come across ants or termites around your property. You may not know too much about these insects, but rest assured, both of them can be problematic and could end up causing you to spend a lot of money. But which is the most dangerous, and what should you do if you encounter them?
To the inexperienced, a termite can look like a white ant. However, on closer inspection, there are significant differences, especially when it comes to how they behave.
Termites feed off wood or, to be more specific, cellulose. They may build their nest within the wood or nearby and are very elusive, so it’s not always easy to spot that you have an infestation. These insects tend to be a light colour and even appear to be translucent.
There are three separate classes within each colony according to duties. Soldier termites defend the colony and have an enlarged head compared to the rest. Worker termites are more numerous and will help to build the colony and subterranean mud tunnels to get to your home. Once inside, they inflict the most damage, as they eat away at your wood frame.
Meanwhile, winged termites leave the nest occasionally to mate and start new colonies elsewhere. Their wings will subsequently drop off, and if you find them around the inside of your property, you may have an invisible issue behind those dry walls. You certainly need to figure out how to get rid of these termites.
Ants are attracted to ‘sweet’ food sources. They tend to be darker and have more pronounced eyes on each side of the head. They also have a much thinner waist than a termite.
There are several classes of ant, including the workers, which help maintain or expand the nest and look after the queen. Soldiers protect the colony but also carry out some work when building a nest, whilst flying ants escape the nest to start a new colony in summer.
Most species of ant can be more problematic than dangerous, apart from the carpenter ants. These ants can cause significant damage to your property, albeit not as much as a typical termite infestation. They’ll feed off the fungi linked to rotting wood or will attack your wooden structure to shave off fragments. These ants will then use the fragments to help them build their nests.
You may find it easier to spot a carpenter ant infestation because they tend to leave excess wood fragments.
Termites digest all the wood and can be very difficult to find without a careful inspection.
Termite and Pest Control in Perth
As termites and carpenter ants can do a lot of damage to your property, you should have a protection plan in place. You should work with an experienced termite company to help you with your home termite control. These experts will inspect for any current infestation and add external barriers to keep things in check. They’ll also help you with ant removal if necessary.