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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Did You Know? Incredible Termite Facts

Here are interesting termite facts and information that you must know about.

Termites (order Isoptera family Termitidae) are a kind of insect that are known to be eusocial and is classified at the taxonomic rank of the infraorder Isoptera. In a recent study, it was indicated that termites have evolved from cockroaches. Termites eat wood, dead plants and cellulose as well as items that are covered in wood. Termites are entitled as the most successful groups of insects on the Earth. They can cause severe damage to your furniture in the house as they poke and eat the wooden items as it is a part of their diet. The largest termites are the queens of the species. These pests cause an annual loss of around 5 billion USD in the United States alone.

There are different termite species that are found in different parts of the world. Some of the species of termites include drywood termites, dampwood termites, subterranean termites, and many more. Some species of termites have wings as well. The wings start as wing buds and over a period of time form into complete termite wings.  Termite infestation and termite droppings are serious issues and require proper termite inspection and termite prevention treatment.

To know more termite facts for kids, let us begin with this article. After  reading these termite facts, you may also look at woodlouse facts and mud dauber wasp facts.

Termite Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a termite?

Termite is a type of insect that is known to cause severe property damage, including furniture, wooden items, and other house items. Termites build burrows and dig into the wooden items in order to make space for them to live there. Therefore, termite extermination is necessary, or else they can cause severe damage to wooden structures. In the US alone, 5 billion USD worth of loss of property has been regarded with termite infestation. The workers and soldiers continue to build their colonies around the clock.

What class of animal does a termite belong to?

Termites belong to a class of insects, order Isoptera. There are various species of termites that have been found such as drywood termites, dampwood termites and subterranean termites. Termites are divided into various classes based on their role in the colony such as workers, soldiers, and queens.

How many termites are there in the world?

There are over 2,700 termite species registered in the world. They include drywood termites, dampwood termites, subterranean termites, and more. There is no accurate estimation so as to how many termites there are in the world.

Where does a termite live?

Termites live in houses. Dampwood, and drywood termites also breed inside the wood that they feed on. They usually prefer to live in wooden structures or spaces which have wooden furniture. They build a termite colony, which has a tube-like structure to it. Drywood termite colonies are also found in dead tree stumps, dead logs, and also in soil. The termite mounds are built above the ground and are made of mud. Herein, the soldier termites build their own air conditioning systems.

What is a termite's habitat?

The termite’s habitat usually consists of houses,  dampwood, and dry wood. Termite colonies are also found in wooden furniture. A dampwood termite colony can be found in the tree stumps, dead logs, and also in soil.

Who do termites live with?

A termite cannot live alone as they won’t survive. Subterranean termites live in termite colonies that range in number from thousands to millions. They do not prefer to stay alone. It can take up to several years for a termite colony to produce a termite with wings, known as the flying termite.

How long does a termite live?

The minimum lifespan of a subterranean termite is about ten to 12 years. The maximum lifespan of a termite is 50 years, but this depends on different factors such as climate change, pest control, food, and nutrition that determine the lifespan of the termite.

How do they reproduce?

The male and the female reproductive termites pair off and then land to start looking for a site for their nesting. Once they land over there, they try to snap their wings off and excavate a small chamber in the soil and try to find suitable timber to create their nest and only then do they mate together to produce eggs. When there are many workers to help the termite queens, the only job of the termite is to produce a huge number of termite larvae.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of termites is Not Extinct as the population of the termites keeps increasing. The termite queen gives birth to a huge number of offspring so there are very few chances of the species going extinct.

Termite Fun Facts

What do termites look like?

Termites are pale brown in color and have no eyes or wings, and they have mouthparts that are hard for chewing wood. In the late stage, termites look like flying ants. Termites are distinguishable in their appearance by their wings that are equal in length. They have straight antennae and also have body segments that come with a straight abdomen.

A termite nest is made of mud and is above the ground.

How cute are they?

Termites are very gross in their appearance. This species is the least beloved animal on planet Earth. They do not look cute in their appearance. They are regarded as generous pests who must be gotten rid of through professional termite control.

How do they communicate?

Termites communicate with each other in the form of chemical messaging. The chemical means are known as pheromones where one of the dampwood termites can change the behavior of another termite. They also leave a scent in order to mark their territory.

How big is a termite?

Termites are small and medium in size, and they live socially in groups instead of living alone. The termites range in different sizes from 0.0008-1 in (0.002-2.5 cm).

How fast can termites move?

Termites are small and light in color, and move quickly when they are exposed to light. There is no accurate speed estimation as to how fast a termite can move.

How much does a termite weigh?

The weight of a queen termite can go up to 0.00006 lb (0.001 oz). The weight of a termite depends on different factors which include their food and nutrition that is required by their body and therefore, the weight differs accordingly. The soldiers and workers are almost 30 times lighter than the queen.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male termites are known as kings, and the female termites are known as queens.

What would you call a baby termite?

A baby termite is referred to as a nymph. They are smaller in size and are less than 0.09 in (0.25 cm) long.

What do they eat?

They eat dead plants, trees, cellulose, organic fiber, wood, paper, plastic, and drywall. Their diet mainly consists of wooden items and includes more furniture than other sources of wood. They are found in homes that have wooden furniture. There are different species that eat different types of food, but mainly their diet consists of wooden furniture.

Are they harmful?

Yes, termites are known to be one of the most dangerous types of wood infestations that any home can get. They do not sting, bite, or contaminate your food supply, or they also do not spread diseases, but they mainly harm wood and wooden furniture in a house. Termites are very harmful to the structure of a home. Professional pest control is required to get rid of these pesky pets. Termite treatment cost starts from around 500 USD and can certainly go up depending on the degree of termite infestation. So, whenever you see a termite swarm, it is time to get help.

Would they make a good pet?

No, termites do not make a good pet as they cause severe damage to your house. It is possible for termites to bite dogs and cats. Therefore, termites are not good pets and you must get rid of termite swarms as soon as possible.

Did you know...

Termites are said to be high in iron, calcium, fatty and amino acids, and also proteins which make them highly nutritious food. Termites never sleep. Ants are known to be the main competition as well as the predators of the termites, therefore termites are scared of these animals.

Termites spend a lot of time on each other in order to prevent themselves from diseases. Termites also have sense organs, just like other species which are located on their base. There are over 2,700 termite species in the world. The queen termites lay around 40,000 eggs per day which makes up to 15 to 25 eggs per minute.

How to look for termite damage?

There are many ways in which you can understand if a termite has caused damage to your house. You can check if the floor feels more spongy and has more springs than usual. They also cause wall damage, and you can also look for unexplained cracks on the internal walls. The cracks on the wall are also a sign of termite activity.

How to get rid of termites?

There are many counter measures you can use and adapt to get rid of the termites in your home. You can use stones or cement that will help in separating the soil from the wooded area in your patios or gardens, in order to create a barrier for the termites. You can also use borate that will be helpful on the wood before priming or painting. Borate is one of the most useful repellents for termites. Termites get easily attracted to moisture and clogged gutters which make insulation vulnerable to the termites. The cost for the termite treatment varies according to the area of your house and how much damage is being done.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods including monarch butterfly, or house centipede.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our termite mound coloring pages.

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