You don’t have to be an entomologist to be curious about insects. Common houseflies seemingly have no redeeming characteristics, but at the very least they are a good food source for other, more helpful-to-our-environment species. Termites, while very destructive, can also be interesting. Here are 13 fascinating termite facts:
Did You Know…? Interesting and Fun Termite Facts
A University of Arizona entomologist, Paul Baker was cited in a 2016 article depressingly titled, “Got Termites? If Not, You Probably Will.” Baker said if you own a home, termites are inevitable but not to panic; take the time to research a trustworthy, local pest control company. “They’re not going to do that much damage in three weeks or a month,” he concluded.
The thought of termite damage bugs most of us, but if the adage, “Know your enemy,” is true, it’s worth your time to contemplate some little-known termite facts.
- A termite infestation is usually more than one colony.
- Termites enjoy and prefer wood, but will chew through many plant-based materials: fabrics, wallpaper, and even some plastics to get to their primary food source.
- Cockroaches are distant relatives. These groups may not plan family reunions together, but they shared a common ancestor during the Cretaceous period.
- “Family-First” might be the termite royalty motto. The king and queen termites leave home in search of mates during a swarm event. When they find their life-partner, they start a new colony, tear off their wings, and settle down to raise a family.
- Good hygiene is important to termites. In-between meals, termites groom each other because cleanliness can deter harmful parasites and bacterial growth.
- Termite queens can rule their colonies as long as 20 years.
- Termites are recyclers. The Sonoran Desert is about 2 hours south of Phoenix, and that’s where H. aureus is the predominant termite. This termite group helps bring enriched soil from the lower strata to the desert surface. They actively recycle about 17.5% of the production of dead wood in the desert.
- Termites only fly when necessary. To create a new colony, termites need to swarm. To do that, they grow wings. Once they’ve completed their commuter flight, they shed their wings.
- Termites’ wood-eating is about quality, not quantity. Even the largest colonies only eat about a pound – maybe 2 pounds – of wood each day. Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t notice until there’s heavy damage because termites’ dining rooms are tunnels inside walls and underground.
- The total mass of termites on this planet outweighs humans.
- Termite kings stay with their queens even after fertilization and help feed the youngsters.
- They are workaholics. Termites never sleep and a termite colony’s mission is to keep their feeding frenzy at a fever pitch. It’s the only job termites have, and they work 24/7.
- They like to play in the mud. Whenever possible, termites will construct mud tubes as passageways to their wood supplies.
The Most Important Termite Fact: They Are Unwanted Visitors
“There are two types of homes in Arizona,” says Rosie Romero. “Those that have termites and those that will have termites.” It may be interesting to read termite facts. However, once they enter your home, the situation changes.
If you notice termites in your home or yard, contact Budget Brothers Termite & Pest Elimination right away. Be sure to ask about our Termite Elimination Specials.