7 Things You May Not Know About Termites

Got a termite problem at home? Sun Tzu wrote in the Art of War that if you know yourself and your enemy, you’re able to win a hundred battles. Similarly in the war against termites, it helps if you can find out as much as you can about these annoying little things.

To help you on your mission to get rid of them, here are some useful facts about them that you might not know:

1. Termites Are As Old As The Dinosaurs

termite-age-of-dinosaurs-collagePhoto credit: deBugged.com

They’re apparently as old as cockroaches, having been around ever since dinosaurs roam the earth. Along with cockroaches, they probably also survived the meteor strike that wiped out all the dinosaurs.

In short, termites are tough to kill.

2. Most Of Them Are Blind

Photo credit: rentokil.com

Each of them has a role to play in a colony: there are workers, soldiers, reproducers, and queen. Worker and soldier termites are blind as eyesight isn’t a necessary function they need to have since they live and ‘work’ in the dark. Only the reproducers and queen have functional eyes as they need to mate and take care of their young.

3. The Termite Queen Can Lay Up To 30,000 Eggs A Day

queen-termitePhoto credit: Pests.guru

The queen produces an egg every three seconds, or up to 30,000 eggs per day. Her sole job is to reproduce and populate the colony. What makes this scarier is that the queen can live up to 15 years. The number of eggs it can lay is beyond calculation and imagination.

This is why the best way to exterminate them is to kill the queen. Without the queen, there will not be anymore baby termites, and the colony will slowly die off.

4. Some Of Them Can Fly

These are the reproducers, the wannabe king and queen termites. Once they’re mature enough, reproducers will leave the colony and fly to look for mates. After they’ve met their mates, the reproducers will discard their wings and build a new colony.

There are usually thousands of reproducer termites in one colony. They take three years to mature and would often leave the colony in a swarm.

5. Termites Don’t Clean Up After Eating

sawdust left by termitePhoto credit: SF Gate

It’s very easy to spot if your house is infested with termites. If you see specks that resemble sawdust under your furniture or around your doorway, you could be having a termite problem at home. Those sawdust-like specks are ‘crumbs’ left behind by termites after they’ve feasted.

You can also check by knocking on the door post or wooden furniture. If it sounds hollow, you should call pest control immediately.

6. They’re Super Hardworking

no-sleep-termite-eaten-housePhoto credit: Pittman, Dutton, and Hellums

They’re as hardworking as ants. Termites work around the clock to look for food, tend to the eggs, protect the colony, and lay eggs. They actually don’t sleep as well, preferring to work 24/7 for their whole lives.

This also means that they won’t stop munching on your wooden furniture and floorboards, not even on public holidays!

7. Termites Are Ant Food

black ant up closePhoto credit: Pest World For Kids

In this case, ants are your best friends because termites are their food. Though they may look alike and share the same working styles (all day, err-day), ants and termites are deadly enemies. The termite soldiers’ main job is to fend off ants, which often come to prey on the adults and babies.

So perhaps there’s a more ‘organic’ way of getting rid of termites, like ants?

Now that you know more about termites, you know you’ll need your own army to exterminate them. Kaodim Direct has a list of professional pest control service providers who will make it their mission to rid your house of those nasty pests. Just fill in the form here and we’ll send someone over right away! 

written by Esther Chung