Termites are a strange type of pest. Battling termites on your own or with termite control can be a difficult and expensive process. Understanding the behavior and actions of these pests can better help you understand what you’re up against and help you make decisions to defeat the problem and bring peace of mind. 

Termites are high in nutrition

Termites are high in iron, calcium, proteins, and amino acids. Since termite bodies are rich in oil, you can fry them easily with no addition of oil needed. Places like Africa, Asia, and places in South America, serve these critters fried or roasted. Though we aren’t asking you to get rid of your problem by adding something new to the dinner table, maybe you could try it… when they aren’t eating your property.

Termites are very hygienic!

Worker termites are in charge of multiple jobs within a colony. Worker termites like to clean. They groom one another by sharing fluids such as saliva. It keeps one another clean and healthy, which means the colony stays clean and healthy. The worker termites also tidy up by creating exit holes throughout the entire colony. Through these exit holes the termites remove  unusable resources which take up valuable space.

Termites never sleep 

Much like a college student during finals week, sleep is not included with a termite’s schedule. Termites spend 24 hours per day, awake. Each section in the colony has their own jobs. 

  • Workers in the colony build up the nest, groom one another, tend to eggs, and gather food. 
  • Soldier termites are much larger, and have hard bodies. They protect the colony from outside predators. 

While you rest and dream, termites are doing what they do best; breaking down wood…hopefully away from your property.

Termites are eusocial

Termite colonies have a caste system, meaning, each caste has a different role. The queen decides who goes with her pheromones and by what she feeds them. As mentioned before, worker termites build new parts of the colony. Worker termites are born sterile, or are immature and therefore cannot reproduce. This ensures worker termites won’t need to change jobs. Worker termites build the nest by using clay, spit, and feces, they tend to eggs, and they are also the only termites of the colony that eat—so they gather food for themselves. Soldier termites get much larger, and protect from ants, centipedes, cockroaches, lizards, and frogs which are all threats to a termite colony. They all have much harder bodies and mandibles to ward off their enemies. The queen of the colony is very large. You can easily pick her out from the rest. Much like bees, she lays thousands of eggs per day.

Termite Queens

Termite queens can lay up to 15-25 eggs per minute. That is 40,000 per day! Which equals 10 million per year. Termite queens never stop laying eggs. Unfortunately, queens are not the only reproducers. Immature worker termites will start reproducing, and leave their original colony. This often results in new, larger colonies next to the initial nest. Oftentimes they can also replace the queen, which only creates more eggs. Usually both colonies leave one another alone, until their tunnels intersect, and they accidentally invade. In that case the colonies go to war.

Termite colonies are massive!

Considering that termites spend 24 hours a day building a colony, one would expect it to be large. Queens lay 10 million eggs per year, and only a small percentage survive. But a “small percentage” from 10 million isn’t a small amount. The biggest nest ever recorded had 3 million termites all at once, surviving inside. Normally there are only 1 million termites per nest. You can see why termite control can be a difficult process. Termite colonies are usually built underground, like the subterranean termites we find in areas where Green Pest Management services (Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland) but occasionally termite nests can be built above ground. 

Termite mounds can be built upwards

Certain termite species build their colonies upward. Nasutitermes triodiae (also known as snouted harvester termites) are a grass eating termite. They can also be referred to as spinifex termites, since they are found in the spinifex grasslands in Australia. These termites hold the world record of the tallest termite mound, standing at 42 feet. We aren’t totally sure why they build upwards. It has been studied that they have evolved in a similar way we did. They once lived in treetops, and evolved to eat grass, and build on the ground. Still today, these termites connect their nests to trees, poles, and build inside of trees. 

Termites and Ants are mortal enemies

Ants are the number one predators for termites. Ants can take over a food source, and will use it to starve out termites. When colonies are built too close together, it can cause turf wars. Though termites are far larger than ants, ants are far more aggressive than termites. They will invade termite nests, kill soldiers, and then the queen. Without the queen, there is nothing to replace workers and soldiers. Without soldiers, there are no defenses for the rest of the nest. No colony defenses means that other predators get in easier.

Termites are responsible for 3% of all methane emissions globally

It takes a very strong stomach to digest wood. Termite’s release 150 million tons of methane gas per year. Though they produce mass amounts of methane, they are very important to the forests. Termites eat dead and fallen trees, which clears the floor of duff and also enriches soil for further growth. Without them eating and building, the forest floors would be littered with dead and fallen trees. Which also means forest fires would be more destructive, and it would be much harder for new growth to begin in the forest.

Termite damage can be EXPENSIVE

Termite nests are large already, and when they expand to your home it can be extremely expensive. Every year, termites cause 5 BILLION dollars in property damage. Most termite’s diets require cellulose (which is found in wood). Wood can be found throughout a home. Railing, wooden cabinets, supports, and hardwood floor. Without supports, the home cannot stand properly. Termites can destroy the under part of laminate flooring, which can cause sagging and holes in your kitchen floor. Hence, why termite control can be critical to your property.

Here at Green Pest Management, we are here to help you with your termite control or any other pest control problems. We inspect and treat, making sure your home or business doesn’t suffer from termite damage. To find out about our termite control options, give us a call at 302-777-2390. We are happy to help!