Before battling the termites in your home, it’s extremely important that you get to know your wood-eating enemy. Learning everything you can about termites can allow you to understand these creatures so it is possible to formulate better strategies to eliminate them completely from your property. Below are some interesting facts about the termite species:
1. The termites don’t sleep. They eat all day long, each and every day. This 24/7 operation makes them very effective in getting rid of decaying wood in the forest, but this action is deemed very destructive once the food they are foraging on will be the wooden areas of the home.
2. The lifespan of these termites may fluctuate. The termite queen can survive anywhere from 20-50 years. The non-reproductive members can endure for only a few years. The individual termite colonies have been known to exist for up to one century.
3. There’s one king and queen at the termite colony.
4. Worker and soldier termites are both male and female. They are usually wingless and vast majority of them are blind. They’re also sterile due to the inhibitory pheromones released by the king and queen termites. There are particular soldiers and workers whose purpose is to look after the eggs and the young.
5. They’re also tasked as groomers of other colony members.
6. Soldier termites are mainly the defenders of the colony. The use their big mandibles to decapitate intruders such as rodents. For some termite species with no soldier termites, the nymphs and employees act as the defenders of the colony.
7. If all the termites on the planet are weighed, their combined total weight will be much greater than the combined weight of all people on Earth.
8. Termites have a trophallaxis behaviour wherein they feed other colony members through anus-to-mouth (proctodeal) feeding. This behaviour also serves a form of communication for them.
9. Termites digest wood through the bacteria and protozoans present in their intestinal tracts. The young termites were able to acquire these digestive microorganisms during feeding time from worker termites.
10. The termites are found on all states, except in the state of Alaska.