Termites have been munching away at wood for millions of years. From the subterranean species that destroy homes to the African termites that build mounds taller than you, these social insects are truly fascinating creatures. Of course, you might not think they are fascinating if they are eating away at your home.
Most people think of termites as annoying bugs that eat wood and destroy homes, but there is a lot more to these pests than that. Earthwise Pest Management, your termite control specialist in Sacramento, offers little known facts about termites. Not that this knowledge will make you appreciate termites anymore.
They are Well-Groomed
You would not think that an insect that spends so much time in the dirt will be concerned about grooming. However, termites do spend a great deal of time in an effort to keep themselves neat and clean.
For termites, good hygiene is all about survival as this is how they keep harmful bacteria and parasites under control within the colony.
Some Can Fly
New reproductive termites sprout wings and can fly. These are young queens and kings that leave the colony to search for a mate and start up a new colony. Once they settle in, their wings break off and they raise their family and live happily ever after. Hopefully, not in your house.
Guided By Chemical Cues
Termites use pheromones to communicate with each other. Termites leave a scented trail by using a special gland located on the chest. In some colonies, the queen can control the role of her young and the size of the colony through pheromones in her waste.
Sounding the Alarm
When danger is near, it is the termite soldiers that sound the alarm. They do this by banging their heads against walls to send a warning vibration to others. All of that headbanging makes us wonder if it looks like a Slayer concert when danger is near.
Blind as a Bat
In most termite species, soldiers and workers are blind. It makes perfect sense. These termites spend their lives in the damp, dark nest so they have no need for functioning eyes. The only termites that can see are reproductive termites and that is because they have to see when they fly away to find a mate and new nest.
Father Knows Best
There are no deadbeat dads roaming around the colony. Termite males stick around after mating and share parental duties with the queen by helping to feed their young with predigested food.
Millions of Years Old
Cockroaches, termites and mantids all share a common ancestor that crawled around on earth some 300 million years ago. Fossil records show that the earliest termites roamed the earth 100 million years ago.
Eating trees and wood isn’t easy on the gut. Termites must have certain bacteria in their gut before they can properly eat and they aren’t born with it. Instead, they get the microorganisms they need from the poo of other termites.
They are Good for the Soil
You might not want termites in your house, but they wouldn’t be so bad in your garden. Termites are really good decomposers, they break down tough plant fibers and recycle them into new soil. Indeed, termites are vital to the health of our forests.
More Active When it is Warm
Termites are more active when it is warm. They tend to be more active in warm months as they work hard to store food for the upcoming winter. In states that have warmer climates, they are quite active all year long. This is also why you find more species of termites in warmer climates.
They Might Outlive Fido
The average worker termite only lives for a couple of years. Termite queens, however, have been known to live 20 years and longer as they rule over their colonies.
Masters of Mud
Some species of termites are great at building complex mud structures.
They Never Sleep
Termites are very busy insects and they don’t have time to sleep. They never take a break from their hard work. Of course, their job is to eat.
Of course, if you have a termite infestation, you don’t care about termite facts, you just want them gone. Give Earthwise Pest Management and call today.