Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Where do Termites live?

I think Termites are cool. My dad doesn't think so, of course. He thinks they can destroy your home and eat your plants because they're pretty much always hungry.

It's true. Termites eat cellulose stuff, so they can eat your house, your boat and your sledge. And if you put a little jam on it, I'm pretty sure they'll also eat your hand. My friend from the US tells me that exterminators can make a successful career by chasing after them. But what puzzles me is that no one seems to know where they actually live. I mean, before they come to eat your home.

My first thought was to call up a professional exterminator and ask. But here in Britain, Termites only live in Devon (if you don't believe that stuff about Termites living in Devon, check here), and there are not enough around for exterminators to make a successful career out of them. My parents won't let me use the phone to call an exterminator in the US, so I tried finding an answer online.

I found loads of stuff. Apparently, Termites are amazing builders and create all kinds of mounds and nests. They are related to ants, so they are very organized. In Australia, their mounds can be enormous. Check this out to see one of their mounds in action. They also build nests in trees, so they're pretty versatile. Here's an image of a cool nest in Mexico, hanging from a tree so their natural enemies can't reach it (like ant eaters and such).

Although they eat American homes, termites are quite cool. They go underground and find food undetected because they can follow carbon dioxide. This is released when wood starts rotting. But unfortunately, they only eat wood and plants and stuff. So - as it turns out -  they won't eat your hand. Not even if you put an awful lot of jam on it.