Termites are notorious for infesting homes and businesses, costing owners billions of dollars a year in damages. Having a termite infestation is one of the worst things that can happen to a structure, especially if the problem has been prolonged. But there are actually some interesting things termites are less known for. Today, we at Stewart Termite and Pest Control would like to relate some of the interesting facts about termites that you may not have known.
Interesting Facts About Termites
1) There are cultures deep in the Amazon that believe if a home gets infested with termites, it is more than a stroke of bad luck, but it is a bad omen. It signifies that a death to someone who lives there is near. It is believed that if the termites are destroyed soon enough or the residents move away, death can be avoided. Other cultures believe smoking a termite’s nest can cure the flu and drinking sweetened boiled termites can cure the whooping cough!
2) Throughout some regions in Africa, the queen termite can grow up to approximately 5“ long and lay as much as 30,000 eggs a year. To help you understand this impressive fact, think about a chicken that typically lays up to 320 eggs a year.
3) Termites work straight through a 24 hour day with no sleep.
4) Since before the time of dinosaurs, termites are believed to have been roaming the earth. Termites are traced back 250 million years ago while dinosaurs were around 230 million years ago, and early humans are believed to been around for only nearly 4 1/2 million years.
5) Formosan termites are one of the most extremely aggressive species of termites, and can consume wood the size of a football rapidly.
6) A Formosan termite’s one colony can devour 1,000 pounds of wood each year, which is the equivalent of 650 little league baseball bats.
7) Termites can actually revive dying trees in a sense, as they will quickly infest dying trees. This will speed up the deteriorating process, which then promotes faster recovery and new growth to commence when the soft, dead wood is completely consumed. The termites then move on.
8) For every one human in the world, there are approximately 1000 termites.
9) In Africa, termites create mounds to live in. These mounds have been measured to be about the size of a 2 story building, or in other words, about 42 feet high.
10) In order to reach the wood, termites will build freestanding mud tubes, which have been found in various locations of the U.S. Documentation has noted that termites have created a mud tube from floor to ceiling that measured in at 12 feet. The mud tube could be seen swaying back and forth due to the breeze created by the air conditioning!
11) In Singapore, queen termites are considered a delicacy and can grow up to 2 inches in length. The queen termites are served alive and dipped in alcohol. For the queen termite enthusiast, they are also served in rice wine.
12) Queen termites can lay an egg every 15 seconds and live anywhere between 15 and 25 years, longer than most other termites.
13) There are over 2,700 species of termites found around the world and the United States houses 40 species of termites.
14) A crack the width of a penny is all that is needed for a termite to squeeze through.
15) 1 million citizens are a typical population of a single colony and when termites are found in homes, 3-4 colonies are commonly discovered.
16) Termites prefer to avoid light.
17) There is only one state in the U.S. where subterranean termites are not found and that is Alaska.
18) A termite worker will venture up to 250 feet away from their colony in search of food; a human walking 4 1/2 miles to find food would be the equivalent.
19) Macu Indians will indulge in eating termites if crops and gardens don’t produce enough food.
20) Termites and ants are natural born enemies.
Though knowing some interesting facts about termites is fun, having termites in your home is not. If you suspect termites or know they are infesting your building, contact Stewart Termite and Pest Control and let our experts do the rest!