Before fighting the termites in your home, it’s very important that you get to know your wood-eating enemy. Learning everything you can about termites will allow you to understand these creatures so you can formulate better strategies to eliminate them completely from your property. Below are some interesting facts about the freshwater species:
1. The termites don’t sleep. They eat all day long, each and every day. This 24/7 operation makes them very efficient in getting rid of decaying wood in the woods, but this activity is deemed very destructive once the food they are foraging on are the wooden parts of the house.
2. The lifespan of these termites can vary. The non-reproductive members can endure for only a few years. The individual termite colonies have been known to exist for up to a century.
3. There’s one king and queen at the termite colony. This group secretes pheromones that inhibit the reproductive development of their other termite members.
4. Worker and soldier termites are equally female and male. They are usually wingless and majority of them are blind. They’re also sterile as a result of inhibitory pheromones released by the king and queen termites. There are particular soldiers and employees whose function is to care for the eggs and the young.
5. Worker termites are chiefly foragers and feeders so these are those that eat and cause destruction to the wooden constructions. Another role that they play is being the nest builders and repairers. They are also tasked as groomers of other tribe members.
6. Soldier termites are primarily the defenders of the colony. The use their big mandibles to decapitate intruders such as rodents. For some termite species with no soldier termites, the nymphs and employees act as the defenders of the colony.
7. There are approximately 2,300 termite species worldwide. If all of the termites on Earth are weighed, their combined total weight will be far greater than the combined weight of all people on Earth.
8. Termites have a trophallaxis behavior wherein they feed other colony members via anus-to-mouth (proctodeal) feeding. This behaviour also serves a form of communication for them.
9. Termites digest wood through the bacteria and protozoans within their intestinal tracts. The young termites could acquire these intestinal germs during feeding period from worker termites.
10. In america, there are 41 species of termites identified.