Termite alates in the spring.Termites cannot themselves digest the wood that they consume. Instead they rely upon symbiotic protozoans (metamonads) in their intestines to digest the cellulose for them, absorbing the end products for their own use. These protozoans in turn rely on symbiotic bacteria to produce the necessary enzymes. This relationship is one of the finest examples of mutualism among animals.













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Because of their wood-eating habits, termites sometimes do great damage to buildings. Their habit of building tunnels wherever they go and of remaining concealed within the wood where they work often results in their presence being unknown until the timbers, riddled with tunnels until spongelike inside, give way. Once they have entered a building they do not limit themselves just to wood, also damaging paper, cloth, carpets, and other materials. In regions where termites are plentiful, no timber in construction should be left in contact with the ground. Exposed timber can be made resistant to attack by impregnation with creosote or other chemicals, but the most effective defence is a masonry foundation. Even so, termites are able to build tunnels with walls of packed earth over several feet of masonry or work through small cracks to reach wooden parts of a building. When termites have already penetrated a building, removing their means of access and destroying the colony with fumigation are usually effective means of stopping further damage. Another common method of treating termites in houses in Australia is the use of arsenic trioxide powder. This is carried back to the nest by the workers, killing the queen, and thus the nest.

Above Images Come From The USDA



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