From the African termites that build mounds taller than a man, to the subterranean termites that can total a home in under two years, these are insects that are incredibly versatile, and incredibly cool. When they're not silently eating away at your home equity, they are a fun insect to study. Here are some strange facts about termites that may surprise you.
Invasion of the termite body snatchers!
Do you know that some termite species can't digest wood without help? That's right. Some termites do not have the flagellate protists in their guts that allow them to break down wood fibers, so they need the help of little creatures called prokaryotic organisms to assist them. The termites chew wood and swallow it in manageable chunks. The prokaryotic organisms then eat that wood a second time. Helping the termites natural digestive enzymes get the job done. Talk about creepy.
You're not going to believe this.
I hate to be the one to break it to you, but it is true. As disgusting as it may sound, the eating of feces is a necessary practice for termites. They aren't born with those prokaryotic organisms in their gut. Before they can get to the business of eating the wood of your house, they have to get these microorganisms from other termites. They do this through a process called trophallaxis. That is a nice scientific name for: they eat each others poo. Nice, huh?
After what you just heard, it might seem unimaginable, but in some countries the eating of termite queens is a delicacy. Sounds yummy! These termites are served live, and dipped in alcohol. My advice would be to set it on fire to sterilize it. Then, don't eat it.
Curse of the termite!
In the Amazon, there is a belief that if you find a termite in a home, the homeowner will soon die. Well, I don't know about the homeowner, but there is a good chance that home isn't long for this world.
Termites are fun, when they're not eating your West Georgia home. With modern termite monitoring you can catch this insect before it feeds on the wood of your house. If you haven't looked into termite protection, search the internet a see how many people have lost their homes due to termites. I think you'll agree, this is an insect you never want in your home.