11 Interesting Facts about Termites You May Not Know
Termites are destructive and eat away dampwood and drywood, inflicting damages on properties worth over $5 billion every year.
These unique and fascinating social insects have been making researchers curious over the years to study and learn more about these tireless workers.
There are many amazing facts about termites that may surprise you. Here are some interesting facts that will reveal some incredible backgrounds about these bugs.
1. Termites have lived on Earth for 130 Million Years
The origin of termites goes back 130 million years when dinosaurs roamed this planet. According to experts, the earliest termites lived nearly 250 million years ago. During various explorations, paleontologists have found dinosaur bones with traces of novel insects. It suggests that ancient termites might have a role to play as decomposers of vertebrate remains of dinosaurs in the Jurassic era.
2. Termites Outweigh Humans Collectively
If you put together all the termites of this planet, their combined weight would be nearly 445 million tons. On the other hand, if you put together all the humans, our total weight would only be around 350 million tons. It means for every human, and there are approximately 1,000 pounds of termites.
3. Termites Eat Wood for Cellulose and Digest it with Microorganisms in their Stomach
The fact is that not all termites will eat your house. There are 2,800 termite species in the world, and only 28 eat and digest wood. Other termite species mainly aerate the soil by creating tunnels and clear dead wood and plants.
Wood-destroying termites feed on dead plants or wooden stuff at home. They can digest tough cellulose or plant fibers. Termites digest wood with microorganisms in their gut that can break down cellulose.
4. Termites Design their Colonies
Some of the termite species design their colonies upward and shaping it up like skyscrapers of dirt mounds. In tropical regions like some parts of Africa, these mounds are often quite large. Some even measure more than 30 feet.
5. Termites have hierarchy too
Like ants, termites have a“eusocial” structure, which means they have a societal system with certain castes or divisions, where each caste has a specific role to play. Only worker termites are capable of destroying wood.
6. Termite Kings Work Responsibly
Unlike bees, where males perish soon after mating, termite kings carry out their work responsibly. Once the termite queens give birth to offspring, termite kings stick around to support their queens, such as fertilizing her eggs and feeding young termites.
7. Termites Can Feel Vibrations
Termites can feel vibrations on the ground with their sense organs such as antennae and tibiae. Scientists have observed that some of the termite species select food sources before infestation by sensing vibroacoustic signals that emit from pieces of wood.
8. Most Termites are Blind
Nearly all termite species are blind. Since termites mostly live in the moist, damp, and dark nest, sensing vibrations is enough for their living. Only reproductive termites require eyesight because they need to fly searching formates and new sites for nesting.
9. Termites Maintain Hygiene
Despite spending all their lives in dirt, termites make efforts to stay hygienic. Termites spend a significant amount of time grooming each other. Maintaining hygiene is crucial to their survival, as it enables them to keep harmful bacteria and parasites under control in the colony.
10. Termites Never Sleep
It is true. Termites do not wake up from their slumber in the morning. As they are simple organisms, termites can stay awake 24/7 and do not need to recharge themselves by taking a nap as most creatures do. Due to this, termites can keep building colonies 365 days a year relentlessly until they die.
11. Termite Queens Live Long
Termite queens live the longest compared to any insect in the world. Termite queens may live between 30 and 50 years, with their annual reproduction cycle and building many colonies.
Also Read: 5 Tips to Keep Your House Free of Termites This Season
Do You Need to Keep Termites Under Control?
These amazing facts on termites may make you wonder what if they infest your home. Believe us, and it could be one of your worst nightmares. Hardworking and persistent termites can seriously damage your home, which may cost you thousands of dollars in repair costs.
If you see any signs of termites in and around your home, contact us right away so that we can inspect your home and take measures. Give us a call at (888) 322-8889 or write to us at email@example.com and we will help as soon as we can.
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