Three Little Known Termite Facts

One of the worst sentences to hear as a homeowner is “You have termites.” This is because termites can cause thousands of dollars of damage, and getting rid of a large infestation can be expensive as well. However, beyond the fact that termites cause damage, most people do not know a lot about these insects. In this article, we’re going to cover some of the less known facts about these insects.

Termites eat more than wood

The termite diet does not consist entirely of wood. This is because termites are after cellulose, not the wood itself, and cellulose is a carbohydrate that can be found in a lot of things, including corn, kale, cabbage, and others. Cellulose is a component in the cell walls of plants. It can also be found in clothing, cardboard boxes, sheetrock and paper among others. The bad news is that this does not really benefit homeowners in any way. If the termites reach your garden, they may eat your vegetables, and if they get in the home, they will feed on wood.

Termite queens can live for over 20 years

Most insects, and the majority of termites in a colony, live very short lives. Take the male mosquito for example, which can only live for about a week, and the termite worker which has a life span of several years. Termite queens on the other hand are able to live for over 20 years, with some estimates placing them at 50 years. Compare that to the average lifespan of a dog, which is 13 years at most. This means that if you have an infestation, it will not end by itself any time soon, and it will just continue to grow and do damage.

Termites do not sleep

Termites are not very complex organisms biologically. In fact, they do not even need to sleep. This is another reason why termites can do so much damage. They can work every minute of the day, digging through wood, and causing thousands upon thousands of dollars in damage. Really, the only way to stop a termite colony is by using professional pest control methods, such as chemical barriers or baiting stations. Chemical barriers will cut off the contact between the wood of your home and a termite colony, and bait stations have a slow acting insecticide, which the termites take back into the colony, where it eventually reaches the queen. If you would like to know more about termite control methods, or if you would like to set up an appointment for an inspection, contact us today.

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