No one wants them in their Alabama business or home. On average, termites wreak havoc on over 600,000 homes per year, causing over $5 billion in damages. Despite this, termites are really fascinating creatures, building colonies similar to the castles of England with their very own kings and queens! Don’t believe us? Read on and discover 12 spellbinding facts about termites that will knock your socks off, or just make you better at trivia.
Fact 1: Long Live The Queen
The termite queen produces some mind-boggling numbers. First, they have one of the longest life spans among insects, living anywhere between 20-30 years on average. Second, they lay one egg every three seconds. That’s over 28,000 per day, over 10 million in one year, and over 200 million in a lifetime!
Fact 2: New Queens and Kings Can Fly
New reproductive termites are winged and can fly. Young Kings and queens leave their colony and fly out in search of a mate, often in large groups. When mates are found, each pair leaves the swarm and finds a new place to start their own colony. They then break their wings off and settle down in their new home to raise their offspring. If only dating for humans were this easy. There is no need for match.com in the termite kingdom.
Fact 3: No Deadbeat Dads Here
Unlike in the ant colonies, where males die after mating, termite males stick around. After their nuptial flight, the termite king stays with his queen, fertilizes her eggs as needed, and shares in the parental duties.
Fact 4: No Rest For The Weary
That’s right: Termites never sleep. Not only are they great in number, but they are also some of the hardest working insects in the world. An infestation of these “around the clock” workers in your home can cause some serious damage.
Fact 5: Termites Eat More Than Just Wood
Depending on the species, termites don’t just eat wood. Here, in Alabama, they eat anything made out of plants, including fabrics. When they feed on plants directly or on fungi, they must digest the plant fibers or cellulose. The termite gut is loaded with microorganisms capable of breaking down cellulose. They house the bacteria and protozoa and harvest the wood. This is beneficial for both the termites and the microorganisms living within their insect hosts. Some species have even been known to eat wallpaper and plastic as well
Fact 6: They Consume Wood Much Slower Than You Think
Even large termite colonies only consume one or two pounds of wood per day. And the wood isn’t eaten in chunks. It’s eaten in tunnels that can ruin entire structures. While one or two pounds a day may not sound like much, it’s usually months of this gnawing away before you, as a home or business owner, realize they are even there.
Fact 7: Termites Share Poop
Speaking of food, termites eat each other’s poop. Well, not quite, but before they can start the hard work of eating wood, they must obtain a supply of microorganisms for their digestive tracts. To do this, they share each other’s poop, a process known as trophallaxis. They must also resupply after they molt, so this poop ritual is a big part of a termite’s life.
Fact 8: Termites are Good for the Ecosystem
Say what? You heard that right. Termites are great decomposers. They break down plant fibers, recycling dead and decaying trees into the new soil. This process is crucial to the health of our forests. As they tunnel, termites also aerate and improve the soil. In a crazy, roundabout way, we build our homes from the wood that these termites eat.
Fact 9: Termites Communicate
Not verbally, but through a type of chemical communication called pheromones. Each caste has a specific scent specified for that group and that colony. Termites talk through emitting these scents to one another. This form of communication allows the colony to flourish.
Fact 10: Bang Your Head
Termite soldiers sound the alarm when it comes to danger by banding their heads against colony walls. This sends warning vibrations throughout the colony, alerting the other termites to the impending danger.
Fact 11: Blinded by the Light
In almost all termite species, both the workers and the soldiers are blind. This is not really a big deal, however, because their lives are spent in the confines of dark, damp areas and have no need to see. Reproductive termites are the only termites that require eyesight since they must fly to find mates and new nest sites.
Fact 12: Termites are Incredibly Clean
In an effort to keep bacteria and diseases from infesting their colony, termites groom one another to stay clean. They’re also very organized when it comes time to get clean and will spend a great deal of time grooming each other.
Protect Your Alabama Area Home With Termite Control from Bama Pest Control Inc.
As fascinating as they may be, termites are still destructive creatures. They can wreak havoc on your business or home before you even know what happened. Put an end to all of that with Bama Pest’s termite control. Bama Pest Control Inc. knows that termites can get the best of you, which is why we offer two types of termite treatments as part of our termite control. All our service professionals are trained in the leading termite control methods and can provide the entirety of termite control options like baits, poison and treat, monitoring stations, and more. Call (251) 478-7015 today to learn more, or visit our website and fill our online contact form.