Termites are insects that any homeowner fears. These social beings, like ants, are divided into groups of workers, warriors and responsible for reproduction. Insects usually have a white color, growing no more than a centimeter in length. A distinctive feature of termites is the love of cellulose. It is eaten in one form or another by insects. This, though not easy to digest food, but rich in energy. As a result, termites become pests, a real horror for humans.
Annual losses from the activity of termites all over the world amount to 20 billion dollars. Hidden insects eat wood so that it looks untouched from the outside. This makes it impossible to see the danger in time. But not only at home are affected – in South America there is practically no book older than 50 years. People are reasonably afraid of termites, but often the knowledge about these insects is superficial. Some myths about them will be debunked.
Termites are relatives of ants.
Ants belong to the order of the Hymenoptera, their relatives can be considered wasps, bees, riders and sawflies. But termites are a separate group of insects. It separated from the cockroaches in the Triassic period. Some cockroaches have a microflora in the intestine, close to termites. The same have a primitive appearance, similar to cockroaches. Despite the fact that termites are called in Australia “white ants” to fight against them by the same means as against the ants themselves is absolutely pointless. Insects are actually completely different. Some scientists prefer to classify termites to cockroaches.
Termites die out if the wood disappears in the district.
When termites can not be in their original place due to a lack of food, they simply start moving to a new place in search of a food source. Also, food can be found in the soil, which then becomes the basis for the house. So when moving to a dwelling built on a tree cleared of trees, it is still worth checking the terrain for termites.
Termites can gnaw through concrete.
Termites can really be strong, but not so much. Simply these insects try to find loopholes through cracks in the concrete. And after one termite has passed, many brothers will follow him. Small cracks to an ordinary person to notice will be difficult, you need the help of a professional inspector.
Brick house on a concrete slab is protected from termites.
Usually all houses have a wooden frame. A brick house, planted on a concrete slab, is not safe in itself. Regardless of how the tree is separated from the soil, termites will be able to find a way up from the earth. Usually cracks help to get to the desired wood.
Termites can be pushed back to neighbors.
Some rebuke neighbors that they defeat termites and drive them to another site. In fact, the colonies of these insects are huge. Several houses in the neighborhood can be located within the same family. Infecting with termites of one house can say that in another, neighboring, they will also be present. But termites are not collected by the group to cross a toxic chemical barrier, and to move to the nearest site. Neighbors have nothing to complain about. Termites are absolutely useless.
It’s just pests. Insects are natural processors that destroy dry forest and process it into nutrient soil. It helps grow new trees. So termites actively participate in the ecosystem.
Protective measures against termites before construction will protect the house for a long time.
Termites are not guaranteed for 20 years. Most techniques provide protection for only one year, with some additional options. Some environmental factors used in the home materials and the quality of the protective work performed affect the warranty period for protection against termites.
Termites do not eat wood in houses, if there is rotting wood somewhere nearby.
The fact that rotting wood is easier to chew does not mean the absence of termites in a house with a structured tree. Insects are constantly looking for new sources of food, including as a potential pantry for their colony, as a means of protection.
Termites can be killed by spraying poison on the ground or other surfaces outside the house.
Termites live in huge colonies. To get rid of them, you must destroy the whole family, including the queen, as the main uterus. In the fight against termites, you can not fight only with individuals, spraying poisons on the ground.
Termites can be defeated independently.
The initiative is good, but not in such a complex issue. Independent methods of working with poisons can affect the health of family members or pets. To treat the dwelling from the termites will need specialized equipment. Some devices help to identify insects, while others actually eliminate them. In countries where termites are a problem, specialized firms propose to start fighting them even before construction begins. And in a ready-made dwelling, they can be professionally confronted.
Termites are polygamous creatures.
Termites are distinguished by their advanced family organization. Despite the fact that millions of individuals live in the colonies, a pair of insects creates one for life. And unlike ants and bees, this is really a marriage union – some couples cross for years. However, there are some kinds in which the family life develops badly. In Zootermopsis nevadensis, about half the couples experience a “divorce.” Most often the female seduces another’s partner, then the rejected halves often converge with each other.
All termites eat wood.
Working individuals are engaged in the grinding of wood. Already processed porridge through the mouth or ass goes to the forage of the rest of the colony. Such creatures are “cows”, whose multi-chambered stomachs are just adapted for food processing. And dozens of varieties of microbes help in this.
Termites are not suitable for food.
It turns out that in the cooking of many peoples termites are a popular product. After all, in insects there is a lot of protein, 75% more than in a rumpsteak. Indians of the Amazon make barbeques from insects, fry them with their own juice, pound them as a seasoning. And in Nigeria even bouillon cubes of termites are sold.
There are not many termites in nature.
An excellent social structure has allowed termites to become successful in the animal kingdom, as well as ants. If representatives of all 2600 kinds of termites gather together, they will make up a tenth of the entire biomass of the Earth. This is even more than the weight of all people. A diet based on wood fibers leads to the fact that termites carry out a large-scale methane emission, in the amount of 11% of the total on the planet. On this indicator, even cows and sheep were left behind.
Termites build their dwellings in height.
Terminators are the elevated part of the colony’s home. It is created from clay, sand, chips and other natural materials. All this is held together by the saliva of the workers. Termites build up their house constantly. It can grow up to five meters in height, but the most famous specimen generally reaches 12.8 meters. Nevertheless, the underground part is even more impressive. Under the tower are built deep mines, they can go deep down to 30 meters, although scientists believe that 70 meters for termites is not the limit.