3 Unusual Termite Facts

Three Facts That Are Unusual About Termites

Termites are the only living creature that feeds on wood. They are actually very important at decomposing lots of plants and decaying material. They break down tough plant fibers and help to recycle dead and decaying trees back into the soil. Of course, the fact that they view your house the same as a decaying tree makes the process inconvenient for us, but that is beside the point as far as the termite is concerned.

The gut of the termite is full of special microorganisms that are found in no other living creature. These microorganisms digest all the cellulose and get the job done for the termite. The termites, however, don’t come by these microbes naturally. They must be placed there by other termites. And the only way for this to happen is for termites to eat each other’s poop.

Yes, that is true, for a young termite will not have the proper microorganisms, so they have to be fed to him from the poop of another termite, a process called trophallaxis.

Termites are blind, so it is a wonder to us that they can even function, but they do. The worker termites spend all of their lives in the darkness of their underground nest, so there is no need for them to have developed eyes or a way to see. The only termites that see are the termites that reproduce because they have to fly to discover mates and discover new sites for nests.

The soldier termites use scents made of chemicals, called pheromones. By this means they can communicate with one another, and control the behavior of each other. They leave trails of scents to guide each other as they work.

The soldiers are instrumental in sounding an alarm whenever danger threatens the colony. They will sound an alarm by banging their heads against the walls of their tunnels or chamber, and vibrations are sent throughout the entire colony of termites.

Another interesting fact is that termites spend a great deal of their time keeping clean. The Pest Company added that; you would not think that a creature that stays underground or in the dark would be so concerned about that, but they make a great effort to groom each other. This plays a very important role in their survival, as it helps to control harmful bacteria and parasites that could bring harm to the whole colony of termites.