Many people see ants and termites combating each other, but a few know the reason behind their deadly fight.
Why Do Ants And Termites Fight? Ants and termites fight because they combat for resources like shelter and nutrition. These deadly enemies can attack the opponent’s larvae and queen to get rid of territorial competition. Moreover, ants eat termites and obtain nutrients from protein-rich meat. A predator-prey relationship exists between ants and termites that leads to the death of any one of them. Furthermore, fire ants, black ants, and Argentine ants quickly kill the termites.
Both insects have similar physical structures and contain segmented bodies, wings, and antennas on their head.
Do Ants Fight With Termites?
The ants and termites fight with each other till one of them dies. There are many reasons behind the deadly battle that result in the loss of lives.
Struggle for territory
These creatures fight with one another when any one of them tries to get control over the territory.
For example, some ants and termites share a common habitat like carpenter ants, so they fight to secure their territory.
Termites prefer to live in a tree or decaying wood and build their nest inside the tree stump.
At the same time, carpenter ants choose wood for laying the eggs but do not build a permanent living space inside it. So, they attack the termites to get a temporary shelter.
Survive from predator attack
There is a risk of predator attack on both of these insects, or they sometimes become predators for each other. As a result, ants and termites indulge themselves in a battle to improve their lifespan.
Moreover, these insects protect themselves from the termites’ attacks by showing aggressive behavior. Termites can quickly become prey if they do not show defensive efforts.
Ants and termites are natural competitors and mortal enemies that fight for the availability of the resources like food and shelter.
Both struggle to decrease the number of the opponent organism to minimize competition.
However, ants do not kill the termite colonies and attack a few termites to meet their food requirements.
Source of nutrients
Termites are a rich source of nutrients for the ants, so they attack termites to obtain food. They can eat their soft bodies within minutes to fill their empty stomach.
Moreover, the termites are blind and cannot see the attacking ants. So when they come out to collect food, the deadly insects attack them.
Ants attack the young termites and their larvae without discrimination for eating their proteinaceous meat.
They leave termite colonies to ensure the continuous supply of nutrients when the queen produces larvae that become adult termites later on.
Do ants keep termites away?
Ants can kill termites efficiently, but they do not attack the whole colony. These insects do not compromise on their food supply, so they prefer to leave the colonies and eat only a few termites.
Moreover, they can also keep termites away from your house.
However, it does not mean that ants are always responsible for keeping the termites away.
How do ants and termites interact?
Many ants maintain predator-prey relations with termites, but sometimes they protect termites’ nests from intruder’s attacks. When these insects attack the termite colony, the old ones become front-line soldiers.
The old male termite takes responsibility for the nest opening area and blocks the entry of predators into their nest.
Their role is to protect the queen from the ants’ attack while the female termites try to disrupt their attention from the nest.
The final control is in the hand of the young insects that can control the ants with full strength and energy. Termites interact with these insects and prevent them from entering the nest.
While some of these insects share the nest with termites when there are unfavorable conditions like rain.
They interact mutually as they benefit from the shelter and protect termites from predators.
Do ants and termites live together?
Ants and termites are enemies because of a predator-prey relation between these insects. Therefore, they try to kill their opponent and get nutrients from them.
The termites are rich in proteins and can fulfill the nutritional requirement of ants, so they attack them. However, some ant species can live together with termites.
The carpenter ants and the termites share a common habitat like wood. These insects use the wood as shelter while termites get food from the tree stump and eat wood.
In addition, ants protect termites from predators’ attacks and get nutrients by eating the dead ones when they share their nests.
Do termites ever win against ants?
Termites have a large head that helps in combating the tiny ants. They enter the small tunnels in ants colonies during the fight, and the ants cannot follow them quickly.
Moreover, termites are stronger than ants, but ants are more combative and show aggressive behavior during the fight.
Therefore, termites win most battles between these two insects because of their bigger head and large size.
However, the larger size does not ensure success in every battle; ants can also defeat the termites sometimes.
Do all ants kill termites?
Ants show hostile behavior to the termites, and whenever they come in direct contact, there will be a fight between the two. However, every ant species show different behavior toward these insects.
These insects are good at killing the termites, while a few show exceptional aggressiveness toward these tiny creatures. For example, Argentine ants are very efficient in killing and eating termites.
Similarly, carpenter ants and black ants also like termite meat. These insects penetrate the termites’ nest, capture them and attempt to separate their body segments.
Some insects use termites’ nests as shelter when there is a cold or wet climate outside. There are chances that ants kill and eat them.
Ants eat dead termites and consume their dead bodies to obtain energy. Furthermore, they can also attack the living mites while cohabiting in their nest.
Do termites eat ants?
The ants and termites can eat each other to ensure their long-term survival. Both of them have a risk of being prey to each other. So, they attack each other when they are present in front of each other.
Ants can attack the termites efficiently, but the termites also show combative behavior and kill them. In addition, they have strong mandibles that help fight against these tiny insects.
The soldier termites, including both male and female, can fight with the ants and win the war. This is because they eat ants for survival purposes and use them as a food source.
Why do ants eat termites?
Ants do not like termites because they pose a tough competition for their survival. In addition, they share a common habitat, so ants feel competition in their territory.
Therefore, they think it is better to kill the opponent before it gets control over the habitat. Ants prefer to eat these large insects when they encounter them.
In addition, they fulfill nutritional requirements by eating the termites, which have rich proteinaceous meat. So, they enjoy the nutritious feast and maintain their energy level.