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11 Fascinating Facts About Termites You Should Know
Although there are over 3,000 different termite species in the world, only about 200 live in America. That’s still a frightening number when you’re dealing with termite infestations.
There are a lot of little known termite facts that make these creatures even more creepy, but also kind of impressive. We’ve all heard about termites and the problems they cause, but what else do we know?
To learn more about these insects, keep reading!
1. The Queens Thrive For Over 25 Years
Much like ants and bees, termites have a caste system made up of workers, soldiers, and queens. Each one has specific duties to keep their colony running at peak efficiency.
The crazy thing here is that queen termites have an incredible lifespan. Left to their own devices, the queens live upwards of 25 years. Some even make it up to 50 or more years!
2. They Don’t Sleep
We all take sleep for granted. After all, people and animals all need to sleep to recuperate after a long day.
Termites break this cycle. They don’t sleep at all. They continue working, building, and eating all day every day.
This makes them even more dangerous if they’ve found their way inside your home. They’ll continue to burrow their way through your house until you call in pest control.
3. They’ve Been On Earth Since the Dinosaurs
Termites are an old type of insect that has outlived many other species. Certain termite species even lived back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth.
That makes them millions of years old! They’re not going away any time soon so it’s a good idea to keep your home protected from them.
4. Some Queen Species Lay 40,000 Eggs Per Day
Another reason why termites are so invasive is the fact that their queens lay a lot of eggs every day. Some of the fastest species lay 20 or so eggs per a single minute. That’s about 40,000 per day!
That leaves the colony with a near unlimited supply of extra workers and soldiers. That’s why it’s so important to deal with termite infestations as soon as possible.
5. Colonies Include Thousands of Termites
Termites are social creatures who stick together no matter what else happens. They continue to work as a hive rather than as individuals.
It’s because of this that termites gather in the thousands. If you have an infestation within your own home, chances are good that you’re dealing with several thousand termites at once.
The biggest colony of termites had an estimated 3 million termites!
6. Termites Farm Food
Termites don’t only eat wood. They have their own unique and delicate system of farming. They’ve been farming 25 million years before we humans ever did!
That’s a lot of time to perfect the system. It also means that termites find it easy to continue thriving within their colonies for many years. Even if outside resources dry up, they’ll have their own supplies growing within the colony itself.
7. All the Termites in the World Outweigh the Human Population
There are a lot of termites in the world. Not only in terms of species but also in terms of sheer volume. For example, if you collected every single termite together into one place, they’d outweigh the entire human population.
Collected termites weigh an estimate of about 445 million tons. Humans only weigh up to about 350 million tons.
8. Their Bites Are Faster Than Any Other Species
The cheetah might be the fastest running animal in the world, but termites have their own special claim to glory. They have the fastest bite amongst all other species in the world.
They’re able to snap their mandibles closed at a speed of about 157 miles per hour. Don’t worry, not all termites have such a quick snapping bite. The Panamanian termite is the one who holds the title, but other species don’t have quite the same power.
This powerful bite is lethal to other bugs, but humans don’t have to worry so much about termite bites. Termites leave humans alone unless threatened and picked up.
9. Termites Control The Colony’s Temperature
Termites are often under the mercy of Mother Nature. If it gets too hot, the colony suffers and efficiency plummets.
That’s why these critters came up with a way to control the different temperatures within their colony. Within the different tunnels of their nest, they have air pockets sprinkled throughout the area.
Within these air pockets, air blows through to keep the colony at a pleasing temperature that never gets too hot. It’s like their version of air conditioning.
10. The Colony Mounds Reach Up to 30 Feet Above Ground
Most termite colonies burrow their way into massive underground tunnels and channels. That’s where most species enjoy spending their time since a lot of termites hate bright lights.
But some termites do enjoy the sunlight. They create enormous nesting mounds that reach as far as 30 feet above the ground.
Most of the time, termites are silent and destructive, causing havoc to homes without any clues. At least with a nest this large, you’ll know what you’re dealing with without any doubt!
11. Some Termites Explode as a Defense Mechanism
To keep the colony safe, most termites have their mandibles and their massive number of backups at their defense. Other termites have weapons that are far more creepy.
There is a tropical termite, called Neocapritermes taracua, that explodes when grabbed.
It doesn’t matter if the creature grabbing it is a human, predator, or even another termite. The blue toxic goo within their bodies react and explode.
It’s a great defense mechanism when the colony is under threat. The reassuring thing is that these explosions, while dangerous to other insects, don’t pose a lasting danger to humans.
Don’t Let These Termite Facts Bug You Too Much
Although some of these termite facts might be a little on the creepy side, don’t let them bother you too much. These insects are pesky, but they’re easy to deal with.
When you find your home infested with termites, call in a professional. They’ll rid your home of any termites without any trouble at all.
If you need professional pest control now, contact us today. We know how to deal with all kinds of infestations!