Do Ants Eat Termites?
Yes, ants eat termites. In fact, ants are among the primary predators of termites. They actively hunt them and rely on them for nutrition.
In this article, we’ll look deeper into this predatory relationship as we discuss the following:
- Which ants eat termites
- Why do ants eat termites?
- How do ants eat termites?
We’ll also touch on whether or not ants can serve as indicators and control agents of termites.
Which Ants Eat Termites?
Most ants eat termites. Apart from strictly herbivorous ants, any ant that finds a dead termite will gladly eat it.
There are also ants that actively hunt termites. These ants include the following:
- Carpenter Ants
- Matabele Ants
- Eurhopalothrix heliscata
- Iridomyrmex rubriceps
- Iridomyrmex sanguineus
Why Do Ants Eat Termites?
As highly opportunistic eaters and pretty much everything. So it isn’t surprising that ants eat termites. To them, termites are a food source that they rely on for energy and nutrition, and a good one at that.
Termites are soft-bodied and fleshy insects, making them quite easy to eat. Their colonies can also consist of up to millions and are thus enough to feed ant colonies of similar size.
Furthermore, termites are quite nutritious. They’re rich in protein, iron, calcium, and essential acids which ants need to survive.
There’s also the fact that some ants share the same living conditions as termites. This makes them direct competitors over territory and resources.
Carpenter ants, for example, are wood-infesting ants. They commonly encounter termites as they dig through wood and readily fight them. They don’t hesitate to kill and eat termites to the point of wiping out entire colonies.
How Do Ants Hunt Termites?
Ants are quite creative with how they hunt termites and do so in a variety of ways. For example, Matabele ants hunt termites by conducting raids. They gather thousands of workers to attack termite nests discovered by scouts.
On the other hand, the ant species E. heliscata hunt termites through the very wood that houses them. They press themselves in tight places and seize any termites they encounter.
Meanwhile, some species like the Iridomyrmex rubriceps and Iridomyrmex sanguineus play it smart. They build their nests in termite mounds to regularly prey on termite workers. 
Are Ants a Sign of Termites?
No, ants are not a sure sign of termites. There are many other things that attract ants to an area. For example, ants are attracted to moisture and other food sources like meat and sugar.
Some ants also infest wood. So even ants around wooden structures could not guarantee the presence of termites. See this article to learn more about wood-infesting ants.
Ants for Termite Control
While it may seem like a feasible idea, ants don’t work for termite control. Sure, ants can deter termites and possibly even remove them from your home. But that’s not a certainty.
Some ants deliberately stop attacking termites when they’re about to be wiped out. This is to preserve the food source and make sure they can keep coming back for more.
There’s also the fact that ants can also be pests. Carpenter ants that have the same living conditions as termites can end up damaging wood as well. In fact, when left unchecked they can cause structural damage similar to termites. See this article to learn more about carpenter ants.
Finally, who’s to say that ants won’t start invading your kitchen and go through your own food?
So at the end of the day, if you have termite problems you’d be better off relying on an exterminator instead of ants.
Who Will Win Ants or Termites?
Ants beat termites in fights. Despite being smaller, they’re more aggressive and can overwhelm termites with numbers.
Termites are usually the ones on the back foot. They’re forced to defend themselves until they find ways to escape. If ants make it past their defenses, they usually get slaughtered.
Can Ants and Termites Live Together?
Despite being natural enemies, ants and termites can live together. The neotropical termite Nasutitermes corniger for example, (Motschulsky) cohabits with various ants species.
During the wet season, they allow ants to use part of their nest for shelter and to eat them. In exchange, they get improved nest defense and nitrogen-rich nutrients. 
Are Ants Worse Than Termites?
In terms of damage, they can cause to wood, no ants are not worse than termites. While some ants can cause significant damage, termites will cause more and do it faster.
What Eats Termites?
Apart from ants, animals that eat termites include:
- Mammals: Anteaters, Aardvarks, Bears, Bats, Humans
- Birds: Chickens, Doves, Sparrows, Swallows
- Reptiles and Amphibians: Lizards, Snakes, Frogs, Newts
- Arthropods: Beetles, Flies, Spiders, Wasps
To summarize, ants eat termites. They’re considered primary predators of termites and actively hunt them down to eat.
To them, termites are a nutritious and readily available food source. They are numerous enough to feed an entire colony.