Facts About Termites

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  1. Though a pest and pain to homeowners – they serve an important role in the ecology by breaking down plant fibers and dead trees into soil.  They also help aerate the soil through extensive tunneling.  The problem is we build much of our homes out of – wood!
  2. Termites do not have natural enzymes in their digestive track to break down their food like we do, so they need micro-organisms to help break down these fibers.Theirs is a symbiotic relationship – beneficial to both the termite and the micro-organism.
  3. Termites will eat each other’s feces.  The purpose? To load up on the needed micro-ogranisms.
  4. The males in a termite colony help parental duties of feeding the young pre-digested food.
  5. There are 3 classes in a termite colony – workers, soldiers, and reproducers.  Only the reproducers have functional eyesight – the rest are almost always blind.
  6. SOS is not unique to people, termite soldiers send warning signals by tapping.  The tapping is made by banging their heads against the tunnel walls.
  7. Smell is a huge part of communication among termites. They produce pheromones – special chemical scents – to talk to one another, leave trails to follow, and identify one another.
  8. New reproducers (kings and queens) have wings and can fly.  Once they find a mate and a place to settle down, the wings break off and they set up home.
  9. Termites make an effort to stay clean and well groomed.  Cleanliness is  matter of life and death because it keeps parasites and harmful bacteria under control.
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About the author: BRIAN SYKES

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