We usually think of termites as destructive little creatures that can destroy our homes and property. But, how can this tiny insect cause such devastation? These 5 weird facts about termites will give you some insight into the highly organized kingdom that could consume your home.
Each termite colony has a reigning king and queen who mate for life. Some royal termite couples celebrate their 25th anniversary in the colony. The queen lies in the lap of luxury while being fed and cared for by her workers, but her task is not easy. Since she lays around 2,000 eggs each day, this royal couple can produce more than 18 million eggs during their lifetime together.
Termite colonies are not just mounds of dirt in your backyard, or mud tubes in your basement. These structures are masterpieces of architecture and engineering. With a built in ventilation system, they keep the underground air from getting too hot and stale. They build vertical bridges from their subterranean colony to your deck, and they even have gardens within their castle walls. In these gardens they cultivate a fungus that makes the wood from your floor joists digestible.
Not all the termites in a colony spend their time feeding the queen, caring for eggs or munching on your floorboards. A special division of termites guard and protect the colony from invaders. If an enemy is detected, these guards use their massive heads to pound a battle cry on the wall of the tunnel. This call-to-arms brings a platoon of other guard termites who will help defend the colony from invasion. These soldiers will also alert the colony if it is disturbed by humans, so please do not try to dig-up or destroy a colony on your own. They will simply abandon the castle and move to another area to establish a new colony, possibly undetected for years.
Spies for the Kingdom
Termites here in Tennessee are particularly good at sneaky invasions onto your property. They look for hidden ways to enter your home through cracks in cement, under cover of your front deck, and can travel beneath the tile on your kitchen floor. They only need a gap of 1/16 of an inch. They will even build a special shelter tube to cross over hard objects like drain pipes: always seeking their next meal.
Once the colony is well developed and getting overpopulated, termites catch the pioneer spirit. Usually in the spring, they spread their wings in search of new territory. Termite swarms will travel near and far to locate a mate from another colony and a new home with plenty of moisture and edible wood nearby.
Is it time to overthrow the termite kingdom in your home? Aren’t sure if you have termites? Schedule an inspection today by a technician from Dayton's Pest Control, and eliminate this threat to your peace of mind.