Intriguing Termite Facts

First of all, the termite history . . .
A very large termite colony with millions of termits.
How many termites to you guess to live here?
  • Termites are over 100 million years. Termites are an adaptive animal to exists after 100 million years.
  • They eat the plant’s fiber, found in dead and decaying wood. This makes them “recyclers of the forest.” Termites recycle dead wood; turning the wood’s nutrients into the soil.
  • There are three main groups of termites in Florida; the dry wood, damp wood, and subterranean termites. The last type can be the most costly to repair their damage.
  • Additionally, some termite colonies live 7-10 years. (This number is conservative and based on the average age of a queen termite.)
  • Colonies can contain millions of termites. Check out this photo posted on
  • Annually, two specific (subterranean) species cause over $20 billion dollars in damage around the world; the damage for the United States alone is estimated to be $11 billion.
  • Many people confuse ants and termites when they are in swarm flight.
Florida Termites

Additionally, there are 21 species of termites in Florida, six are invasive, and most of the species are not consider pest insects. Some of the species are native and only found in Florida; nowhere else in the world, not even in the United States.

winged stage of termitesLastly, watch for the next blog on the differences between termites and ants. If you are unsure whether you have an indoor or outdoor termite infestation, visit our Plant Diagnostic Clinic. Above all, please bring in fresh insects for identification. If the specimen is a termite and you would like to determine the species type, an extension agent can help you preserve the specimen for shipment to the University of Florida lab for positive species identification.

Intrigued… for more information:

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Posted: January 16, 2019

Category: Home Landscapes, Natural Resources, Pests & Disease
Tags: Dampwood Termites, Drywood Termites, Subterranean Termites, Termite Damage, Termites

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