Termites, for all the trouble they cause us, are full of surprising facts. The most surprising fact, however, is that if our food supply ever dwindles, and we’re facing an apocalypse, we can consume the highly nutritious termite for sustenance. While this probably isn’t your idea of fine dining, it’s always good to know you have options. In the meantime, you can call the West Palm Beach pest control experts at Empire Pest Defense to ensure your termite problem is solved efficiently. Don’t worry, there will be enough left over for the apocalypse.
Termites Never Sleep
It’s true – termites never sleep. These hard workers spend 24 hours a day building their colonies without rest. Then they die. They do, however, take long lunches though and to be fair, much of their work involves devouring your home.
Termites Eat More Than Wood
Termites are known for their appetite for wood, but they can eat more than that. They’ve been known to eat plaster, wallpaper, drywall, paper, and plastic. The technical term for termites feeding habits is detritivore. Detritivores feed on dead organic material. In the case of the termite, they feed on cellulose. So anything with cellulose in it will be food for termites.
Ant and Termite Wars
Ants and termites are mortal enemies who often go to war over the same territory. In fact, ants have paramedic ants who rescue and care for those wounded on the battlefield. When ant-termite wars break out, only one colony is likely to be left standing. Usually, that’s the ants. But if you’re thinking about introducing battle ants to your ecosystem, think again. Ants can cause major damage to your property as well.
Termites are Matriarchal and Have Queens
This isn’t exactly breaking news, but termite colonies are ruled by queens who can lay up to 30,000 eggs in a single day. Depending on where the queen lives, they can live up to 50 years which is the longest lifespan of any insect in the natural world.
The queen also makes decisions on which role each young termite will have in termite society. Feeding young termites her feces has two benefits. First, it provides them with the gut bacteria they will need for digestion. Secondly, Queen feces is infused with pheromones which can guide the development of young termites.
Termites Operate on a Caste System
Biologically speaking, termites (like ants) are eusocial meaning that they have different members of the population doing different kinds of jobs. Worker termites are the ones who are responsible for delivering food to the warrior and reproductive castes which would be otherwise incapable of feeding themselves. The workers must regurgitate the food so that it can be consumed by the other castes.
Termites are Good for the Ecosystem but Bad for Your Property
Ecologically speaking, termites serve a valuable role for the environment. As decomposers, they revitalize soil by returning dead plant material to the plants that use it to grow. On the other hand, they are not so good for your home and can cause tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage. Before that happens, give Empire Pest Defense a call or talk to us online to set up an appointment today.