There's something to be said for knowing your enemy. When it comes to termites, it's wise to know how to recognize these insects, and it's important to be aware of the signs that can indicate their presence. However, that's not all there is to know about termites. While some information about termites might not be particularly useful, it's still fascinating. Consider these bits of termite trivia.
Although termites do their best to avoid interacting with people, they're classified as social insects. They live in colonies that can have millions of members and work together in a complex assortment of assigned roles to thrive.
Destruction and Creation
Termites are widely considered to be agents of destruction thanks to their appetite for wood, but there's a strong connection between destruction and creation. In nature, termites infest dead and dying trees. There, their destructive appetite speeds the natural cycle of deterioration and hastens the decomposition process. Ultimately, this fuels creation by enriching the soil and paving the way for new growth.
Building Without Bricks
Termites are found on every continent except Antarctica, and in many areas, termites will build mounds from a mix of digested wood, soil, saliva and feces. These structures are strong and stable, and they can be quite large. One of the largest mounds stood more than 40 feet tall. That's roughly as tall as a two-story building.
Ants, Bees and Cockroaches
Termites are often confused for ants and have strongly defined social roles like bees, but these physical and behavioral resemblances are somewhat misleading. Termites are actually more closely related to cockroaches.
Scientists believe that dinosaurs roamed the Earth roughly 230 million years ago. In contrast, humans appeared about 4.5 million years ago. What about termites? They've been around far longer. They first appeared some 250 million years ago.
Termites eat wood, but they cannot digest it alone. When termites are born, their guts can't digest the cellulose in wood, so they recruit microscopic bacteria and protozoa to break down this material. How do they do it? Young termites install these micro-organisms in their guts by eating the feces of older termites.
Light and Dark
Termites tend to avoid light. In fact, worker and soldier termites are nearly blind because they spend the bulk of their lives in the dark.
Termites might be intriguing insects, but that doesn't change the fact that they can cause a great deal of damage if they invade your home. If you suspect that termites are trying to move in to your North Carolina home, reach out to State Pest Control for effective pest control solutions. Contact us today to request an estimate.