Termites have special enzymes, protozoa and bacteria in their guts that allow them to digest cellulose. Cellulose is the organic fibrous material in wood and plants. Sound delicious?
The termite colonies can range from a few thousand individuals to several million, depending on their species. There is a complex set of roles and hierarchy to a termite colony, which includes a queen who lays eggs, workers who do all the hard labor, and nymphs or immature termites who have lighter duties but still work in the colony.
Subterranean termites, also known as ground termites, live underground in groups or colonies. Their main source of food is wood, and they will tunnel underground up to 150 feet (45.7 meters) to find it. Mud tubes along walls, baseboards, or in cracks and crevices indicate subterranean termites. Drywood termites live above ground, preferring to make their homes inside wood and trees. They don’t need moisture in their nests and instead get it from humidity in the air. Piles of cereal grains of sand appearing mysteriously are likely drywood termite fecal pellets. Dampwood termites like to build their colonies in damp, decaying wood, as their name implies. Formosan termites are considered the most destructive of all termite types. These pests arrived in the United States from mainland China via Taiwan, entering the country through various port cities.
Although termites are ecologically beneficial in that they break down detritus to add nutrients to the soil, the same feeding behaviours that prove helpful to the ecosystem can cause severe damage to human homes. Because termites feed primarily on wood, they can compromise the strength and safety of an infested structure. Termite damage can make structures unlivable until expensive repairs are conducted.
In an average year, termites are responsible for $1 billion to $2 billion in property damage. Most of this damage is not covered by standard homeowner insurance policies. Termite infestations commonly go undetected until obvious signs of damage occur.
THE HUNGRY TERMITES HAVE EATEN AN ENTIRE VILLAGE IN EGYPT
Magictr, The Silver Post | November 14, 2018
According to local media, from one village on the banks of the Nile almost nothing left: the termites completely ate right through the material of which was erected houses and buildings. Traditionally, buildings were built of palm wood and leaves, and this is a real treat for insects.
Many people live under the open sky, so as to be in dilapidated houses in fear, but to build a new home or to move to another village not. Local authorities declared a state of emergency near Aswan and Luxor.
Informed of half a million termites attacked a small house.
2 termite species mate, create menace for South Florida
By David Fleshler – Contact Reporter – Sun Sentinel – February 19, 2018
Scientists at the University of Florida have confirmed the Asian and Formosan subterranean termites – both formidable non-native species — are mating in South Florida’s neighborhoods.
In an article published Wednesday in the peer-reviewed online journal PLOS ONE, they say the offspring of these species thrive by combining the strongest qualities of their parents. The two species are considered particularly damaging and difficult to control, since they travel underground and burrow up through buildings.
Termites turn Lambari into a ghost town as villagers flee the wood-chomping menace
By Raju Gusain │August 10, 2014
Lambari in Uttarakhand’s Almora district may soon turn into a ghost village.
Termites have struck terror into this small village located in the Kumaon Hills. On quiet nights, the sound of the insects chewing up wood bit by bit creates restlessness among the villagers.
Such is the gravity of the termite menace that villagers are gradually migrating from Lambari.
The pests have slowly but steadily eaten into the villagers’ houses, and visitors are greeted by the sight of more than 15 abandoned homes in Lambari.
The humid weather costing homeowners thousands – but one pest is loving it
7News / February 6, 2018
Humid weather in Queensland is proving to be a bit of a pest – and providing ideal conditions for another kind of pest.
Pest controllers are battling termite infestations across southeast Queensland, with the tiny insects chewing through houses and costing home owners a fortune in repairs.
Andy Deyney first discovered one of his Gold Coast properties was under attack, with termites gaining a beachhead in the bathroom.
The house needed a major renovations, with costs running into the tens of thousands of dollars.
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