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Fascinating Facts about Termites That Will Blow Your Mind

When you think of a termite, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Probably an insect that destroys your wood, right? That is true. However, there is so much more to these tiny critters than meets the eye. I know what you’re thinking. What could possibly be fascinating about a termite? But sit back, relax and read on. As you discover the mysterious ways of this fearless creature, perhaps you will find ways to help keep them out of your Northeast Georgia home or business. Or maybe you just want to be better at trivia. Either way, we got you covered. 

The Caste System of the Wood Destroying Termite

Perhaps HBO should have done a series on the life of termites. Call it Game of Termites. These wood-destroying creatures have a image showing caste system of termitesfascinating caste system that would make Romans jealous. Inside their colonies resides three levels of their caste system—this consists of the reproductive, the soldiers, and the workers. The lowest caste level, the worker termites, are smaller and usually measure from a quarter-inch to a half-inch long. They gather food for the colony, help build the nest, and care for the young.

A step above, the soldiers protect the colony by fighting off predators. They do this by using their powerful jaws and/or by ejecting a white sticky repellent from an opening on their head. They can’t feed themselves and thus have to be fed by the worker termites. Both workers and soldiers are wingless, blind, and sterile.

The reproductives, or alates, are winged termites that are born from the most mature termite colonies. They swarm in warm weather during which the male and female alates partner up. After a male and female relationship has been formed, the alates will lose their wings and reproduce to form new colonies. The alate partners then become the kings and queens of new termite colonies. Once there are enough workers to help the queen, her only job is to produce a tremendous number of offspring. And produce she does. Her majesty can lay up to 100 eggs per day. Another interesting fact about the queen termite is that she has the longest lifespan of any insect in the world.

Other Fascinating Facts About the Termite Include:

  • The largest termite colony ever reported? Three million termites. And some termites build their colonies upward. In tropical regions, termite mounds can be up to 30 feet high!
  • There are many species of termites. There are over 2,700 termite species all over the world, with many of them having been on earth for over 250 million years.
  • Workers are the only member of the caste system that can feed themselves. Soldier and reproductive termites have to rely on workers to feed them by regurgitating digested cellulose into their mouths. Sound disgusting?
  • Never fear. Termites are hygienic. They spend a great deal of time grooming themselves in order to prevent disease.
  • Termites and ants are natural enemies. In fact, ants are their number one predator. Occasionally, termite and ant colonies located next to each other will go to war for territory and access to food.
  • Termites never sleep. They build their colonies 24 hours a day, seven days a week, nonstop.
  • Termites use vibrations to communicate with one another. When soldier termites sense a threat, they will tap their heads against the colony’s walls. This creates a vibration that warns the rest of the colony. They have organs located on the base of their antennae and tibiae that allow them to sense these vibrations.
  • They create a wide variety of different pheromones secreted from glands on their chest. Different pheromones communicate information to caste members.
  • Speaking of pheromones, the queen termite feeds their young pheromone-laden feces to dictate which caste level her young will mature into. 
  • If you put every termite on earth on a scale at once, their total combined weight would be 445 million tons. 
  • Termites are good for you and edible. Termites are rich in iron, calcium, protein, fatty and amino acids, making them highly nutritious. Hungry yet?
  • Termite damage is costly. Every year, they inflict more than 5 billion dollars worth of damage in the United States.

A step above, the soldiers protect the colony by fighting off predators. They do this by using their powerful jaws and/or by ejecting a white sticky repellent from an opening on their head. They can’t feed themselves and thus have to be fed by the worker termites. Both workers and soldiers are wingless, blind, and sterile.

The reproductives, or alates, are winged termites that are born from the most mature termite colonies. They swarm in warm weather during which the male and female alates partner up. After a male and female relationship has been formed, the alates will lose their wings and reproduce to form new colonies. The alate partners then become the kings and queens of new termite colonies. Once there are termites in woodenough workers to help the queen, her only job is to produce a tremendous number of offspring. And produce she does. Her majesty can lay up to 100 eggs per day. Another interesting fact about the queen termite is that she has the longest lifespan of any insect in the world.

This is why Progressive Pest Control offers residential and commercial termite protection to the homes and businesses in Braselton, Georgia, and the surrounding areas. Termites might be fascinating and fun to learn about, but they are destructive wood-destroying creatures.

At Progressive Pest Control, we install a chemical soil barrier called Termidor® for the control of these pesky insects. We apply liquid Termidor® to the soil around your home’s foundation, including under the concrete and around the entire perimeter of your home, completely saturating the soil. The structure of the house is not affected.

We also offer termite reports for homes ready for sale or ready to be refinanced. We understand the guidelines and requirements needed. If you are applying for a Federal Housing Administration or Veteran Administration Home Loan and need a termite report, Progressive Pest can help.

Learn more now by giving us a call at 706-654-2730 or contacting us via our website.

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