Did you know there are over 2,700 termite species on the planet, and many of them have been here for over 250 million years? I bet you thought termites were simply wood-destroying insects with boring, tedious lives—quite the contrary. In fact, termites are fascinating creatures. Like ants, they have their own caste system, including a king and queen, and they never sleep. Instead, they are awake seven days a week, 24-hours a day.
Think this is crazy? Read on to find out more about the life of a termite, better understand their behavior and discover better ways of preventing them from destroying your North or South Carolina business or home
First, let’s understand the behavior of a termite. Termites build colonies and to do this, they have a highly developed caste system that includes the worker, the soldier, and the reproductive. On the lower end of the totem pole are the workers. These low-level wood destroyers are smaller and measure from a quarter-inch to a half-inch long. They handle all of the work in the colony including the gathering of food, the building of the nest, and caring for the young.
One step above are the soldier termites. This group of caste members protects the king and queen and the entire colony by fighting off predators. When attacked, they have powerful jaws and will eject a white sticky substance from an opening on their head. They can’t feed themselves and must rely on help from the workers. Both of these caste members are wingless and blind.
The highest-ranking termites are the kings and queens, known as the reproductives, alates. These are winged termites that are born from the most mature termite colonies. In warm weather, the males and female alates come out and fly around, partnering with one another. These partners then become kings and queens of new colonies. Once they have obtained enough workers to maintain their colony, the queen’s one, and final job is to mate and reproduce. Laying up to 100 eggs per day, she can produce a large amount of offspring.
If this behavior isn’t enough to make you realize how truly wonderous the termite is, perhaps these additional facts will have you convinced.
Weird, Interesting Facts About Termites
- Termites are edible and highly nutritious. They are rich in iron, calcium, protein, and fatty and amino acids, making them highly nutritious food.
- Termite damage is costly. Every year, they inflict more than 5 billion dollars worth of damage in the United States.
- The largest termite colony ever reported was three million termites.
- Some species of termites build their colonies upward with mounds up to 30 feet high.
- Termites have been around for over 250 million years.
- Workers are the only member of the caste system that can feed themselves. Soldier and reproductive termites have to rely on workers to feed them by regurgitating digested cellulose into their mouths. Are you scratching your head in wonder yet?
- Termites are extremely hygienic. They spend a great deal of time grooming themselves in order to prevent disease. This makes the case for them being edible a little better.
- Despite how much alike they are, termites and ants are enemies. Sometimes they will even go to war over who owns a colony.
- Termites use vibrations to communicate with one another. When soldier termites sense a threat, they will tap their heads against the colony’s walls. This creates a vibration that warns the rest of the colony. They have organs located on the base of their antennae and tibiae that allow them to sense these vibrations.
- They create a wide variety of different pheromones secreted from glands on their chest. Different pheromones communicate different information to caste members.
- The queen termite feeds their young pheromone-laden feces to dictate which caste level her young will mature into.
- If you put every termite on earth on a scale at once, their total combined weight would be 445 million tons.
Protect Your North or South Carolina Home With Termite Control From Cramer Pest Control
While all of these things are pretty interesting, it doesn’t mean we want these annoying and very costly creatures in our homes. It is fun to learn about them, and maybe you will even score points during your next round of trivia, but ultimately, termites are nasty insects that wreak havoc on our homes and businesses.
Cramer Pest Control offers a highly effective termite control for home and business owners throughout Charlotte, North Carolina, and northern South Carolina. Our inspectors are Master Termite Certified from Clemson University and use the TermaTrac Radar System to see what is behind the walls. We will come out and perform an inspection. Our professional team will then formulate a plan to help treat your property and make it termite-free. Learn more by checking out our website, contacting us here, or calling us now. For our clients in North Carolina, call us at 1-704-763-0204. In South Carolina? Give us a call at 1-803-802-7540.
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