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Size can be deceptive, especially when it comes to termites. These tiny, pale insects, about 1/4-inch long, can be found globally. Sporting soft, segmented bodies in hues of white or cream, they are often inconspicuous - until you spot the damage they've done.
Termites are social insects and gather in colonies much like ants. Termites have also been around for 200 million years and are capable of digesting metal and even concrete thanks to a specific type of acid they produce.
Life in a termite colony is an intricate dance of cooperation. Termites living in large colonies are composed of different castes - workers, soldiers, and reproductives. Their diet? They have a voracious appetite for wood and other cellulose materials. Termites chew through wood, digesting cellulose with the help of a symbiotic protozoa bacteria residing in their gut.
Termites feed each other by a process called trophallaxis, much like ants, where they feed each other through regurgitation of food during mouth-to-mouth contact. Thanks to their strong exoskeleton, termites are incredibly difficult to kill without the use of pesticides. When they’re not damaging your home, termites are good for the environment thanks to them being detritivores, as they consume dead wood or other organic matter.
Termites are incredibly adaptive, living in various habitats - forests, grasslands, and even our homes. Their preference leans towards warm, humid climates. So, if you're based in Charlotte or anywhere else in North Carolina, you're likely to come across these critters.
The term "small but mighty" fits perfectly for termites. These pint-sized pests can wreak havoc on property, causing substantial damage. They are also capable of contaminating food and spreading diseases, making them a significant health concern.
Indeed, the economic toll of termite infestations amounts to billions of dollars each year which is why investing in an effective termite treatment is a great preventative measure and money saver for homeowners.
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