Ten Surprising Facts about Termites

termite colonyEvery home should never be a home for termites. But no matter how much you hate them, they seem to always find a way to get in, co-exist, and thrive. They’re definitely one of the most annoying pests a home can have. In fact, one of the reasons why the industry of pest control came about is because of the consistent and ever increasing need of eliminating termites.

But then again, even if you look at them as nothing but pests, they actually have a purpose in this world. As a matter of fact, termites are an essential part of the earth’s ecological system. They feast on the dead as well as dying trees, in the process speeding up the cycle of deterioration. If deterioration is quick, so is new growth.

To be fair, we’re not saying you should let them stay in your house and allow them to eat everything they could get their teeth on. But the thing is there’s no denying that they are truly fascinating insects. They deserve to be given attention, too.

So here’s a bunch of facts about termites that you certainly will find interesting. But of course, it does not change the fact that you still want to kill them all!

  1. If they’re hard to beat, how about eating them instead? This is what is happening in Singapore. Those termite queens that can grow up to two inches are considered a sumptuous treat in the Southeast Asian nation. They are traditionally served live, while others prefer them to be either preserved in rice wine or dipped in alcohol.
  2. termites up closeHumans don’t stand a chance against termites; that is when based on sheer numbers. The ratio is incredible: for every human there are about a thousand pounds of termites. It’s up to you to count how many are there in a pound.
  3. Termites are experts in building hard mounds above the ground. You see them in every corner of the world. They can actually build one that has a height equivalent to a two-story house.
  4. They also have long been subjects of superstition. In the Amazon for instance, many tribes believe that when a home is found to have a termite colony, it means that the owner will die soon. There are two ways to escape death (sigh). These are to destroy the colony or simply abandon the house. We’ll take the second option.
  5. If you think termites are tiny little creatures, think again. If you go to Africa, you certainly would want to meet the queen of a species of African termites that can go up to five inches long. This queen can lay up to 30,000 eggs in a day!
  6. They’re the insects that never sleep. Termites are the epitome of hard work. They sweat it out 24 hours a day and they don’t really care if they don’t have enough sleep, because in reality, they really don’t.
  7. termite infestationRemember the virtue of respecting those older than you? Then how about the fact that termites have been living on Earth for more than 250 million years? We’ve been around about four and a half million years.
  8. If your home has termites, it is likely that you’re accommodating three to four colonies around it. Each colony has a population of about one million. How about that for an invasion?
  9. Even if they’re so small, queen termites can actually live from 15 to 25 years. Every fifteen seconds of their lives, they lay an egg.
  10. Though we look at them and then think they look like ants, termites actually are more closely related to cockroaches. Now that’s what you call a good family background.