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Although we don’t like them because they eat away at our homes, termites are actually very interesting creatures. Here are 10 interesting trivia facts that you may not know about these wood-chomping pests.
Think you might have a termite problem at your home? Contact Ehrlich today for a home inspection.
The queen’s rule
Most termite queens can live for about 15 years, producing hundreds, sometimes thousands of eggs per day. However, some have been documented to live as long as 30 years.
The king’s role
Beyond fertilizing his queen’s eggs, the king plays a fatherly role, helping out by feeding the youngsters.
Go break a wing…or two
Young king and queen termites initially have wings. As they mature, they leave the colony to find a mate. Once mated, they break off their wings, and focus on building their own colony.
Termite soldiers really know how to use their heads. To warn of a threat, they bang their heads against the gallery walls, which resonates a warning signal to the rest of the colony.
Eau de termite
Termites use pheromones (scents specific to the colony) to control behavior and communicate with one another. A pheromone trail guides workers so they don’t lose their way.
The scoop on poop
Termites are not born with microbes in their gut, essential for breaking down cellulose. To acquire the microbes to do their work, they need to ingest the feces of other termites.
How they eat
Termites eat through a process called “proctodeal trophallaxis” – and this benefits us. When foraging termites consume bait Ehrlich uses to control them, they go back to the colony and feed it to others through this process. This spreads the bait through the colony and ultimately wipes it out.
Essential to termite survival. Termites spend a significant amount of time grooming each other. Keeping each other clean keeps parasites and harmful bacteria out of the colony.
Walking with the dinosaurs
Termites have been around awhile – approximately, 130 million years. That puts the first signs of their existence in the Cretaceous period, co-existing with triceratops and Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Most termites are blind
Soldier and worker termites perform their tasks in the dark. Therefore, it is not necessary for them to have sight. The only termites with sight are kings and queens in search of mates.
Only 183 of the 3100 known termite species cause damage that is detrimental to humans and our structures. In the U.S., just a handful of species cause more than $5 billion in damage annually.
Prevent your home from being part of that number. Ehrlich’s PestFree365+ program includes an annual termite inspection so that you can have the confidence that your home remains free of termites.