Termites are tiny little insects that are often known to be a major pest or annoyance to homeowners. They travel in groups and will eat away wood materials in your home. In Africa, termites can build mounds that are taller than a human being. The species are known to destroy people‘s home, but despite the disastrous effects, they are nevertheless the most interesting species to study.
You can learn more about these destructive insects with ten amazing facts:
1) They Can Be Beneficial
Even though they are a pest, they can be helpful to our ecosystem. Termites act as a decomposer. They break down plant fibers, recycle them, and bring them to the soil. They are vital to the growth of the forest. When they tunnel through the soil’s, they help aerate and improve the quality of the soil. The reason that they are very troublesome is that we build our home with wood which is a delicious meal for them.
Termites digest cellulose with the help of microorganisms in the gut wood and fibers are tough structures of a plant. It’s hard to imagine that such a small organism can digest that. The termites' gut is filled with microorganisms that are very efficient at breaking down cellulose. This helps benefit them when they start eating the wood material from your house.
2) They Eat Each Other's Feces
Termites are not born with special microorganisms that can digest cellulose. They have to obtain it by eating other termites' feces.
3) Termites Existed Way Before Us
Termites have been living on earth for over 130 million. The fossils provide records of these organisms during various dinosaur era.
4) The Father Helps Raise Their Kids
The male will stay with the female after he fertilizes the eggs. He will also help her take care of the offspring. This is different from other organisms where the father would usually leave or die after the eggs are fertilized.
5) They Might Be Blind
There are two types of termites: The colony and the reproductive termites. The colony termites are the ones that dig and look for food. The reproductive termites are the king and queens that go off on their own to mate and create a new colony. Almost all colony termite species might be blind. This is mainly because these organisms spend the majority of the time in dark areas. However, the reproductive termites have clear eye sites. They are not blind because they have to fly around to find a mate.
6) Termites Have a Secret Warning Signal
If they detect danger, they can bang their heads against the wall, which is a warning signal. The vibration sends the signal to the whole colony to evacuate.
7) Termites Communicate with Pheromones
Usually, organisms communicate through sounds, but they communicate with pheromones. They create a chemical scent to communicate with one another. They can even leave a specific scent that acts as a trail for other termites to follow. Different colonies produce a different type of scent. The controls this by feeding her young offspring with feces containing the scent.
8) The Kings and Queen Can Fly
Reproductive termites have wings and are able to fly to different places. They often leave the colony to search for a new mate. That way they can start their new colony.
9) Termites Are Very Clean Organisms
Usually, insects don’t really care about personal hygiene because they spend the majority of the time in the dirt. However, termites are very different. They spent a lot of time grooming each other. This is very important for their survival because it keeps harmful bacteria and parasites out of their bodies. It also prevents other harmful substance from spreading. This is why they spent a good amount of time cleaning themselves.
Get Rid of Termites
Termites are fascinating organisms, they have been around for millions of years. Through the various evolutionary process, they are able to adapt to their environment successfully. They can break down hard substances like wood and cellulose to create nutrition for their needs. They are also ecologically beneficial for our environment. They can convert food source to energy in the soil which is vital to the health of the ecosystem.
Unfortunately, because our homes are made up wood, termites often invade our properties. They consume our homes for survival purposes. Luckily, Big Time Pest Control are experts in getting rid of termites. This can be a major lifesaver for our house.