Termites. Here’s what we know about them: they are destructive, damaging, drywood, dampwood & subterranean decomposers.
But what don’t you know about them? Don’t rush to Google it! Here are some interesting fun facts to memorize and recite at your next gathering. Or not.
- Termite Dads Pull Their Weight
You won’t find deadbeat dads in the termite mound! Unlike in bee colonies, where males die soon after mating, the termite kings stick around. After their nuptial flight, the termite king stays with his queen, fertilizing her eggs as needed. He also shares parental duties with the queen, helping her feed their young predigested food.
- Termites Are Almost Always Blind
In almost all termite species, both the workers and soldiers in a given colony are blind. Since these industrious individuals spend their lives in the dark, damp nest, they have no need to develop functional eyes. Reproductive termites are the only termites that require eyesight as they must fly to find mates and new nest sites.
- Termites Are Well-Groomed
You wouldn’t think an insect that spends its time in the dirt would be so particular about its grooming, but termites make an effort to stay clean. Termites spend a great deal of time grooming each other. Their good hygiene is important to their survival, as it keeps parasites and harmful bacteria under control within the colony.
- Termites Never Sleep
Ever. No need for an espresso break to stay awake! Termites are simple organisms and don’t have to recharge their batteries like many other creatures do. They are able to build their colonies 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, without stopping. Until they die.
- Termites Shared the Earth With Dinosaurs
Termites have been around for millions of years: It’s estimated that the earliest termites lived about 250 million years ago. To put this into perspective, the earliest dinosaurs lived approximately 230 million years ago. In fact, paleontologists have uncovered dinosaur bones holding novel insect traces that suggest ancient termites may have played an important role as decomposers of vertebrate remains such as those of dinosaurs in the Early Jurassic era. Holy Brontosaurus!
- Termites Are Edible
In some parts of the world, people eat termites to cure sickness or use them as a nutritional staple to their diet. In Singapore, people eat termites dipped in alcohol or rice wine or even live termites. Amazonian peoples breathe the smoke of burning termite nests to get rid of the flu.
- Termites Outweigh People
If you put every termite on the planet on a scale, it’s estimated their total combined weight would be 445 million tons. If the magnitude of this number isn’t registering, imagine doing the same thing with humans — we’d only weigh 350 million tons! For every person on the planet, there are 1,000 pounds of termites.
Now you know more about termites than you did a few minutes ago. Not so fun when termites are causing a problem in your home or business. Seek help from the professionals who know all the facts about termites and MORE, like how to effectively treat them.