Here are some of the signs of termites.
- Termite shelter tubes. Termite shelter tubes in fan pattern along foundation wall.
- Subterranean tunnels.
- Blowholes in trees.
- Earthen packing.
- Termite noises and wood excavation.
- Piles of termite frass in or around the home.
- Presence of wings.
- Sagging floors and hollow wood.
Termites are eusocial insects that are classified at the taxonomic rank of infraorder Isoptera, or as epifamily Termiticide within the cockroach order Blattodea. While they can be pests to homeowners, termites are actually beneficial insects, ecologically speaking. Termites break down tough plant fibers, recycling dead and decaying trees into new soil. These hungry insects are vital to the health of our forests.
As they tunnel, termites also aerate and improve the soil. Termites have been munching away on wood for millions of years. From the African American termites that build mounds taller to the underground species ruining people’s homes, the social termites are fascinating creatures to study. Find out more about these decomposing with 10 facts about termites. Although they may be pests to home owners, termites are actually beneficial insects. Termites are important decomposers. Termites break down tough plant fibers, recycling dead and rotting trees into fresh land. These insects that are hungry are vital to the health of the forests. As they tunnel, termites also aerate and improve the land.
It just so happens that we construct our homes from termite food. Termites digest cellulose with the aid of micro-organisms in their guts. Termites feed on plants directly or on fungus growing on rotting plant material. In any event, they need to be capable to digest tough plant fibers, or even cellulose. The termite gut is packed with micro-organisms capable of breaking down cellulose. This symbiosis benefits both the termites as well as the micro-organisms living in their insect hosts. The termites home the bacteria and protozoa, and harvest the forest. In return, the micro-organisms digest the cellulose for the termites.
Termites feed on each other’s stool. Termites are not born with all of that bacteria in their gut. Before they can begin the hard work of ingesting trees, termites should obtain a source of germs due to their digestive tracts. They participate in a practice known as trophallaxis, or, in less scientific terms they consume each other’s poop. Termites should resupply themselves once they moult, so poop eating is a big part of life at the termite mound. Termites lived 130 million years ago, and descended from a cockroach such as ancestor. Termite, cockroaches, and mantids all share a common ancestor within an insect that crawled the Earth about 300 million years ago.
The fossil record’s oldest termite specimen dates back to the Cretaceous period. A termite holds the record of the earliest example of mutualism between organisms, also. A 100 million-year- old termites with a ruptured abdomen was encased in amber, with the protozoans that lived in its gut. Termite dads help boost their young. You will not find deadbeat dads in a thermal mound. Unlike in bee colonies, where men are short lived and die right after mating, the termite kings stick around. Following their nuptial flight, the termite king remains with his queen, fertilizing her eggs like necessary. He shares parental responsibilities with the queen, helping her feed their young predigested food.
Termite workers and soldiers are nearly always blind. In virtually all species, both workers and soldiers in a certain termite colony are blind. Since these industrious people spend their lives in the confines of the darkened nest, they’ve no need to develop functional eyes. Reproductive termites are the only termites that require vision, as they need to fly to find mates and fresh nest sites.