Termites are recognized to be the most notorious pests in terms of causing structural damage to a home. In the US alone, the amount that homeowners spend annually for damages resulting from termite infestation is approximately 5 billion dollars.
A termite colony may consist of millions of termites, which survive mainly by consuming cellulose, which is a substance found in plants’ cell walls. Naturally, you can find termites feeding on wood and dead trees and infesting any wooden structures including the walls, ceilings, floors, and furniture inside your household.
However, not all termites mainly feed on cellulose. Other termite species also consume other things besides wood such as the subterranean termites, which eat pipes, insulating materials, etc. The subterranean termites are the most destructive species. They reproduce fast and voraciously consume almost everything on their way. The different termite species will tell us where they live and thrive. Drywood termites survive in hotter environments and feed on drywood, wallpaper, and plastic. Dampwood termites, on the other hand, prefer areas that are wet or moist.
Once termites infiltrate your property, they will gradually work non-stop day and night without sleep for 24 hours. Unfortunately, detection of termites usually comes late and before you know it, the structural damage becomes apparent almost beyond repair.
The Nature of Termites
There are so many things we must know about termites aside from the fact that they are the most destructive pests.
- Termites are one of the earth’s most ancient beings.
Believe or not, the human-termite ratio is 1:1,000. Certainly, the human population is nothing compared to that of termites. Termites have long existed on the planet since 145 million years ago. No wonder their population is invincible, to the point that it is scary knowing the extent of damage they are capable of inflicting on our home’s structure.
- Termites stay awake for 24 hours.
For termites, destroying a wooden structure of a building is a piece of cake. That is because they stay up for 24 hours every day just working and gnawing on a house’s structure around-the-clock. Homeowners are therefore advised to take action right away whenever a possible termite infestation is detected. Calling in the pest control experts is best to ensure that the termite problem is properly addressed with the right treatment and procedure.
- Termites are blind.
The workers and soldiers of the termite colony are basically devoid of the sense of sight. Somehow, those who have the slightest ability to see are the reproductive termites, the queen, and the king of the colony. What is amazing, however, is that despite this deficiency, the termites are never disheartened. They continue to work hard all night and day for survival. Moreover, since they can’t see, termites make use of their sense of touch so that they can perceive environmental and chemical clues and function well.
- Termites are germ freaks.
Termites are very much protective of their health. In order for them to stay healthy and live long, they prevent parasites and harmful bacteria from getting near them. Because they are afraid of getting sick and dirty, termites religiously keep themselves clean and well-groomed at all times. They are ever more hygienic than other human beings.
- Termites are beneficial to Mother Nature.
These pests may be a serious threat to our homes but termites can actually offer favorable contributions to our environment. Because of their inherent tendency to eat or dispose of dead trees, termites help keeps the soil rich and fertile making it more viable for accelerated plant growth.
- Termites can be part of your healthy diet.
Yes. You read that right! Termites can be eaten and, guess what, they are actually a great source of vitamins and minerals such as protein, calcium, amino acids, iron, and unsaturated fats. In fact, people from certain countries include termites as part of their regular meal. In some cultures, termites are cooked and eaten and are used as a cure to diseases like cough and flu.
Understandably, termites are perceived negatively because of their innate inclination to destroy people’s home. In general, they are a huge threat to a building’s structural integrity. That is why it is imperative to eliminate these pests immediately through the help of a pest control professional.
Khalil ur Rehman is a proud born and raised in Abbottabad. Khalil has worked as a journalist for nearly a decade having contributed to several large publications including Yahoo News and The Verge. As a journalist for Universel Blog, Khalil covers climate and science news.
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