No, Ants Are Not Your Friend
Ants are not a deterrent on termite colonies
There’s quite a bit of folk wisdom around the business of termite eradication.
One myth is that the presence of ants is a deterrent to termite colonies. It’s just not true.
It is certainly true that ants will eat termites if they can – termites are extremely nutritious. However, termites have had plenty of time to evolve defences against predatory ants. So it’s only when catastrophic damage, such as the fall of a tree limb, befalls the termite colony that ants get the opportunity to gobble them up.
Most of the time, the two species just coexist in a sort of armed truce.
But it’s not just that ants don’t live up to their reputation as termite deterrents – it gets worse.
Ants are just as happy as termites to take to your termite baits, pre-empting the arrival of termites, who will then avoid the termite bait, rendering it redundant.
So a good termite eradication strategy should include measures for thwarting the colonising efforts of ants.
I have done some experimenting with Ant-Rid, the active ingredient of which is Fipronil. Ant-Rid baits contain no cellulose, are not attractive to termites and can be installed inside a termite monitor suffering ant infestation.
As with termite baiting, the poisoning process of ants entails the ants carrying the poison back to the nest.
While unfortunately (fortunately?) I had no brown ants to observe on my property
I found that Ant-Rid (- only $4.95) at supermarkets – certainly took care of the black ants infesting it, leaving my termite monitors free of interference, and able to continue operating as they are meant to.