Although there’s nothing fun about termites, there are plenty of facts about these insect pests that you might find fun — or, at least, interesting to learn about. Termites are some of California’s most notorious pests. Each year, U.S. homeowners pay about $5 billion to combat termite problems and repair damage caused by these pests. Each year, as many as 600,000 homes are invaded by termites. While treating your home and surrounding property for termites can run anywhere from $200 to $7,000 in California, depending on its needs, not treating it can lead to thousands of dollars in structural damage that could render your home unsafe. Oops! We did say “fun facts.” The following facts about these infamous pests are more entertaining:
Termites Are Clean
You might not expect a pest that creates such a mess for homeowners to be concerned about ‘personal’ cleanliness, but they are. Termites spend considerable time grooming one another. Grooming is an important part of termite life as it helps remove potentially harmful bacteria and parasites from the nest.
Termites Are Ancient
Some types of termites have been around for more than 250,000 million years. That places them in the Paleozoic era when much of the planet’s animal life was decimated. These pests likely evolved from cockroaches.
You Are Safe from Termites In Antarctica
Unfortunately, the only continent that remains termite-free is Antarctica. If you don’t want to inspect and treat your home for termites, you may wish to move there! Of course, they are not fond of cold environments in general. Unfortunately, neither are people.
Termites Produce Greenhouse Gas
Termites produce more than 10% of greenhouse gases. They produce methane as they break down cellulose.
Termites Are Prey
Despite the damage termites inflict on human homes and wallets, they are a target for many predators, including centipedes, crickets, ants, wasps, dragonflies, spiders, scorpions, frogs, mice, lizards and chimpanzees.
Termites Are Not United
Your home could be the site of a termite infestation and termite wars. Termites colonies will fight with other colonies and demonstrate antagonistic behavior over territory, which makes them not unlike humans in this regard.
Termites Are Potential Pollinators
The only orchid on the planet known to be pollinated by termites is the western underground orchid. However, termites are known to carry pollen and visit flowers. This may be their one redeeming quality.
Termites Are Builders
Although termites are dubbed “silent destroyers” because they perform structural damage to buildings, they build elaborate nests. Some termite species are said to build the most complex of all insect nests.
Termites Are Food
More than 40 species of termites are eaten worldwide by hungry (or vengeful) humans. In many parts of the world, people also feed termites to their livestock.
Termites Are Medicine
In various parts of the world where traditional medicines are widely practiced, termites are highly regarded for their apparent medicinal value. In some cultures, they are used as treatments for bronchitis, asthma, and whooping cough.
We hope you enjoyed these fun termite facts. It’s true that they’re horrible pests in your home, but they are interesting from a distance!
If you believe you have termites in or around your home Request a free termite inspection online, call us at 888-945-2847 or visit our contact page. All of our termite inspections are no obligation and 100% free!