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How Do Termites Communicate?

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How Do Termites Communicate?

Termites, like many other animals and insects, have created an extraordinary means of communicating with the other members of their colony. They have developed a few different ways of communicating, each with their own meaning and deployment. Termites use chemicals (pheromones) and vibration in different ways to talk to one another to work efficiently and to protect one another and the colony from predators. 

Can Termites Speak?

The majority of any termite colony (around 98 percent) is made up of worker termites. These termites are both blind and deaf, which means that visual and aural cues and communication are an impossibility. Due to this, termite communication is conducted using pheromones and vibration. Termites are sensitive to movement, using several organs found at the base of their antennae and on the tibia at the base of the leg to detect the smallest of vibrational waves. If termites sense that a predator is nearby, they begin banging their heads against the walls of the colony nest to let others know their colony is under threat of attack. As soon as each termite feels this vibration, it begins to bang its head, disseminating the message throughout the nest. This sound is so loud that you may, in fact, be able to hear this banging and shaking as a muffled clicking noise coming from the floors or walls of your home.

Termites are, in fact, so sensitive to vibrations, that it is believed that termites can tell the size of a piece of wood by using vibration to measure it from the inside. 

Other Forms of Termite Communication

When new members of the reproductive or soldier caste are needed, some worker termites will moult into these other cast members. King and queen termites emit a pheromone that tells the members of the colony if new reproductives need to be created or if no new reproductives need to be produced. This form of chemical communication is used to control the caste system of the nest and to provide structure and stability. 

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Termites are largely considered the most destructive pest you can have in your home, causing billions of dollars’ worth of damage to property annually. Don’t wait until it’s too late. If you hear clicking or munching noises in your walls or floors, call Pest Control Experts who can help you find a pest care professional to take care of your termite problem as soon as possible.

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The creator of this review received compensation by RMICPA, LLC on behalf of Terminix®. This review is the opinion of its creator and its claims are not endorsed or evaluated by RMICPA, LLC.

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