Exploring the Diet of Termites


Exploring the Diet of TermitesMost Oklahoma homeowners likely know that the termite is often found eating the wooden structure found within a home or decaying wood in nature. However, wood is not the primary target that termites are looking to eat. Rather, they are consuming the wood for the cellulose content it is composed of.

 

Cellulose, an organic compound and main component in the cell walls of plants and other vegetation, can be found in a wide variety of products other than building materials. Other products that utilize cellulose are paper and often foods that are eaten by humans. So, though termites are most often found eating wood, it isn't the only cellulose based materials they are after.

Though they may not technically consume it, termites are also capable of chewing through a wide variety of materials with their unique, hardened mandibles. It is not uncommon to find that termites have chewed through drywall to get to a cellulose-based item that is found on the other side. In some cases, termites have also been found to chew through thin sheets of lead.

To get nutrition from cellulose-based items, termites require the help of small microorganisms that have taken up residence in their digestive tract. These microorganisms help break down the cellulose to release much-needed nutrients that can be absorbed by the termites. This symbiotic relationship allows termites to benefit from the wide variety of cellulose-based foods available to them.

In nature, termites are among the best recyclers of organic materials. For instance, say a tree has fallen and no longer is receiving the nutrients needed to grow. Termites will consume this tree to help speed up the decomposition and release of nutrients back into the soil. However, though this was just an example, termites function to help decompose any cellulose-based materials in nature.

If you are dealing with a termite problem at your home or business, give us a call at 1 (800) 390-8626 to start a no-obligation termite evaluation. The talented technicians at Arrow Exterminators can identify any type of pest and the best course of treatment to get rid of it. We’ll create a custom pest control plan to make sure we eliminate every single one from your home and keep them away for good!