27 Little-Known Facts About Termites
- Termites have a special diet: They feed on dead plant matter, such as wood, leaves, and grass.
- Termites often live in colonies ranging from thousands to millions of individuals.
- As the name suggests, termites are often mistaken for ants due to their similar size and shape.
- Termites have one of the most extended lifespans of any insect–they can live up to 15 years!
- Termites build complex tunnels and hives that are often intricate and difficult to spot.
- Termites have no eyes, so they rely on their antennae to locate food and detect danger.
- Termites are mostly active during the night, but can still be seen during the day in warm climates.
- Termites are social insects that live in colonies consisting of reproducing adults, soldiers, and workers.
- They have a highly organized system of communication with each other to coordinate activities.
- Some termites live in subterranean colonies and construct mud tubes to access wood.
- Termites are considered a delicacy by some cultures, and are eaten like insects or cooked in stews.
- Termites are considered to be an important factor in soil formation, nutrition,, and cycling.
- Termites play an important role in controlling the populations of other insects, like ants and flies.
- Some species of termites can cause severe damage to homes and buildings by feeding on wood structures.
- In some areas, they are known as “white ants” because they look similar to ants when viewed from a distance.
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Little-Known Facts About Termites
Here are 27 Little-Known Facts About Termites
1. Termite-hatched eggs are known as white larvae.
The king mate with the queen and the queen lays eggs. The larvae are fed through the salivary glands of the king and worker termites. When grown, these larvae take on the roles of workers, soldiers, and reproductive termites.
2. Termite nests are found on almost every continent.
Rising from deserts, tropical rainforests, temperate woodlands, and possibly your local park termites’ mounds and nests are found on almost every continent.
Some species of termites build nests underground and other species build huge above-grounds mounds. These mounds can stretch to 80 feet across and 30 feet high, taller than a two-story house.
3. Termite nests are made from mud, digested wood, saliva, and feces.
They are very strong structures made from mud, digested wood, saliva, and feces. There are so many termites spread across the continents that the total weight of all the termites in the world is many times more than the total weight of all the humans in the world.
4. Termites play an important role in decomposing wood and plants.
it is a good thing that we have so many termites in our world because they play an important role in decomposing huge amounts of decaying wood and plants. Without termites, our world would be a lot messier. Moreover, the tunnels made by termites aerate the soil and enhance plant growth.
5. Termites can cause a lot of destruction.
The only problem is termites can cause a lot of destruction when they live with humans. Homes and objects made with wood can be destroyed quickly by termites.
They are known as silent destroyers because they can chew through walls and walls without being detected until a lot of damage is done. Each year termites cost billions of dollars in damage to buildings.
6. Termites have quite a busy life.
Termites are small, industrious animals. Eating and working never cease for them. They eat continuously, every day of the week. Can you imagine working nonstop for 24 hours a day? To nurture their offspring and carry out their duties, they cooperate as a group.
7. All termites have certain jobs to fulfill.
Worker termites oversee the building and maintaining the mounds and foraging for food. Special workers take care of the eggs. Worker and soldier termites are male and female, but they don’t have children and have no wings.
8. Soldier termites protect the mounds from any potential threat.
They remain at the entrance of the mounds and try to keep away enemies such as ants using their hook-like mandibles. If they detect danger, they kick the walls of the colony. This creates vibrations that warn termites inside.
9. Animals such as anteaters and aardvarks hunt termites.
The long tongue of these animals enters the holes of mounds and feast on termites in various regions of the world, termites are consumed by people as a good source of protein. birds and other huge insects feast on these protein-rich creatures.
10. Termites are blind.
They don’t really need to see because they spend most of their lives in the dark. They don’t like sunlight, so they usually travel in mud tubes and live underground in mud tubes and live underground in mounds or in nests made in termites.
11. The king and queen termites are not blind.
The king and queen termites can see because they need to find a mating partner. Female termite queens are quite fascinating.
During her lifespan of 25 to 50 years, a female queen termite will lay an egg about every three seconds thus producing nearly 30,000 eggs in a day.
13. The population of a termite can grow up to 2 million in a mound.
Termite mounds can grow fast and become very large. If the king or queen dies, a young termite will develop into the queen or king thus the continuity of the colony is ensured.
The overall population of termites is greater than the population of mankind. Scientific studies have estimated that the biomass of all termites is almost equal to that of humans.
14. The structure of termite mounds has high accuracy and precision.
Termites are amazing architects. Because they live in such large colonies, termites must create mounds that maintain the correct levels of moisture and temperature.
The termites carefully create air channels throughout the structure that allow proper ventilation and circulation of air.
15. Termite mounds can take up to five years to complete.
The colony works hard to build a mound. However, one good rainstorm can cause a mound to collapse. A work of years is washed away in a few moments. To avoid any collapse, termites are constantly working to rebuild their mounds as soon as weather damages them.
16. Most species of termites aren’t harmful.
According to different studies, most termites are not pests. Of the 2800 species of termites in the world, the majority have no interest in eating your house. Only 28 species are known to chow down on buildings and infrastructure.
17. Termites help to create a climate change-resilient environment.
Researchers have found that contrary to bringing pests, networks of termite mounds can help make dry environments like savannas more resilient to climate change because of the way termite mounds store nutrients and moisture, among other benefits.
18. Termites are good for crops.
Termites can help make the soil more fertile. In one study, researchers in Australia found that fields that were home to ants and termites produced 36 percent more wheat, without fertilizers, compared to non-termite fields.
The nitrogen-rich dung that termites use to plaster their tunnels naturally contributes to soil fertilization.
19. Termites keep the soil full of moisture.
The intricate system of underground tunnels also helps rainfall penetrate the soil more deeply, which reduces the amount of moisture that evaporates from the dirt and makes it more likely that the water can be taken by plants.
Therefore, enhancing the growth of green cover.
20. Termites have one of the fastest bites.
According to some researchers, the quickest-moving animals in the world are termites. 157 km/h is the speed at which Panamanian termites can clap their mandibles.
Compare that to the cheetah’s peak speed of roughly 76 m/h during its run. Soldier termites can kill attackers with a single bite thanks to their fast action in confined tunnels
21. Termites Build Climate-resilient mounds.
By building large, above-ground mounds above their nests, certain termites have created an astonishingly effective means of controlling their climate.
The buildings are arranged around a central chimney, and by allowing air to enter and exit, they basically serve as enormous lungs. The convection cycles keep the underground temperatures between 84 F and 90 F.
22. Termites farm too.
Humans aren’t the only ones cultivating crops. Termites farm too. Compared to humans’ 23000 years, they have been doing it for more than 25 million years.
Some termite species have developed a symbiotic association with the fungus Termitomyces. These fungi are grown in underground gardens.
23. Termites leave their waste for the fungus to consume.
Foraging termite workers consume plant matter that they are unable to fully digest on their own and then leave their waste for the fungus to consume.
They can then eat fungus; they may also be able to eat some of the plant material after the fungus has sufficiently broken it down.
24. Termites are microbial gold mines.
Termites provide a fascinating case study to understand the role of microbiomes They support as many as 1400 different bacterial species just in their hindgut.
These microbes convert cellulose-rich wood and dead grass into energy. Scientists want to harness them to make biofuels from plants.
25. A termite treatment to get rid of termites.
If a house is affected by termites then termite treatment is compulsory. The first step is to make holes in different parts using a drilling machine at a 45-degree angle.
The second step is filling the holes with non-repellent pesticides. After spraying, the holes are filled with white cement.
26. There are three types of termite colonies.
The first type of termite colony is the underground one. The second one lives in dry hardwood forests and the third one lives in damp coniferous forests.
When it comes down to the structure of colonies, the construction is done in the same way.
27. The winged termites form new colonies.
Winged termites are born and raised in colonies like other termites. These termites when grown are released into the world. When a winged male termite finds a female one, it will burrow into the ground and start a new colony.
As you can see, termites are fascinating creatures that play an important role in the environment. Little-known facts about termites reveal their importance and why it is best not to kill them unless absolutely necessary.
If you think you have a termite infestation in your home or building, contact a professional pest control expert for help immediately. Remember, knowledge is power when it comes to managing pests like termites!
With these 27 little-known facts about termites, we hope that you now feel more prepared and informed on how to handle any potential problems with this species of insect.
FAQs : Little-Known Facts About Termites
- Should you kill termites?
Termites are highly beneficial for the environment, and they play a crucial role in the decomposition of wood. So unless you have a termite infestation, you should not kill termites.
- Are termites harmful to humans?
Termites can become a nuisance to humans if they establish their colonies in homes or other buildings. In these cases, termites have the potential to cause extensive damage to property. However, termites don’t pose any direct risk to human health.
- How do I kill termites in my house?
You can kill termites in your house by using a termiticide. Termiticides are chemicals that are designed to kill termites. There are several different types of termiticides, and each one is effective against different species of termites.
- What do termites look like on a house?
Termites are generally light-colored insects, usually ranging from white to brown in color. They are usually no bigger than 1/4 inch long and have a segmented body. They also have wings, antennae, and six legs.
- What are the signs of having termites?
The presence of mud tunnels, which are usually built by subterranean termites, and the presence of wood damage (e.g., holes in wooden structures, hollowed-out beams, sagging floors) are the most common signs of termites in your home. You may also find piles of termite droppings near wooden areas.