Everything you need to know about pests
Termites are insects classified in the taxon Isoptera, order Blattodea; phylum Arthropoda in the Kingdom Animalia.
They eat feces.
They are not born with the microorganisms in their gut that help them digest the cellulose of plants; hence the queen feeds them into their system before they start eating wood.
They don't have eyesight.
These insects live underground and haven't any need to develop their eyesight. They have powerful sensory organs located at the base of their antennae and tibiae to sense vibrations. The king and queen are the only ones with eyes since before they start a colony, a queen goes out in search of a male termite to mate with and start a colony together.
All termites weigh more than all humans combined.
If you put them all on a weight scale, they'd weigh around 450 million tons while humans weigh 350 million tons.
They use chemical signals.
These insects use a variety of pheromones to communicate a wide range of information to other caste members. Glands located on their chests secrete these pheromones. Each colony has a different pheromone that helps them find their nests.
They communicate using vibrations.
No shouting here but instead banging. Soldier castes bang their heads against the walls of the nest to send danger signals.
These insects never sleep.
Most creatures, as we know, are either diurnal or nocturnal. These cases do not, however, apply to them. They instead undergo what is called diapause, where they slow down or stop for a time if the temperature drops to a certain point. Unless this happens, they work on and on, causing maximum destruction.
Colony Caste & Its Queen
The queen determines the caste.
The queen regulates her pheromones in the feces fed to new insects hence grouping them into different castes.
Queens can live for up to 35 years.
A king and queen have a lifespan of 30 – 35 years. The queen lays eggs to ensure the colony lives on. Averagely, most queens have a lifespan of 15 – 17 years, depending on their geographical locations. Some of these insects that live in Africa may have a lifespan of 50 years, while other species such as dry wood may have a mere 10 – 12 years. Workers have a lifespan of one to two years.
A queen can lay up to 10 million eggs a year.
A queen has been said to lay between 20,000 to 30,000 eggs per day. When you divide this number by the minutes in a day, you get 20 – 25 eggs per minute. That means a queen can lay over 11 million eggs per year. We have also established that a queen can live for over a decade, making the approximate total number of eggs laid in a lifetime around 165 - 250 million eggs. Wow!
Queens suppress other queens.
We all wonder how one queen can rule for quite a long time in the termite colony. That is because queens suppress potential queens using pheromones which are always active and help her control the entire colony. She can, however, allow a few nymphs to develop into junior queens to help her if her colony begins to outpace her.
They are actually edible.
They are excellent sources of iron, amino acids, fatty, proteins, iron, and calcium. They are a delicacy around the world, like in Asia, Africa, and South America. They are suitable for people with cases of malnutrition to help increase fat and protein consumption.
They can be consumed raw.
We've learned that these insects are edible and can be fried or roasted according to one's wishes. Similarly, you can chow on them raw. This way, you preserve the creamy nutrients and fats stored in their abdomens.
They are not poisonous.
A termite's sting or bite does not threaten the human body externally and internally when ingested.
Termites and ants are natural enemies.
When ant and termite colonies cross paths, war breaks, and termites lose. These two turn hostile because ants raid termite colonies and eat them as a source of food.
They are eusocial.
Eusociality is the highest rank of social organization where a distinct female or caste produces offspring, and all sterile individuals take part in caring for the infantile. Its characteristics include; nest sharing, cooperative brood care, overlapping generations so that offspring assist parents within the colony of adults, and division of labor among sterile workers. They live in a caste system where each caste has a specific role.
There are many species.
Currently, there are about 3,106 recorded species of these insects and a few hundred left unknown.
They are related to cockroaches.
They were first classified separately from cockroaches until recently when phylogenetic studies show that they evolved from cockroaches; A sister group of cockroaches of the genus Cryptocercus that also eat wood.
They are clean and hygienic.
They spend much time grooming to avoid harmful bacteria and parasites.
In conclusion, these insects are pure destruction. In the US alone, they can destroy $5 million worth of property damage. It's advisable to exterminate them if you spot them on your property immediately.