What’s worse, -2 or disadvantage?


So, I’m building a system that adds an extra level of flavor, with some minor mechanics as an optional side system for a 5e campaign. The basic function is, you collect points, then collect a deficit. Once you get enough points again, that deficit is escalated.

So for example, one effect causes creatures making a perception check (based on smell), gain advantage. The escalated version is they no longer need a roll – they can pick up your trail easily, and are able to track you.

One mechanic I’m not sure about however is the comparison between a hard deficit, vs disadvantage. I.e. -2 to a roll, vs disadvantage on a roll.

So, are these comparable, and if so, which is worse?