The Good Side of Bad Pests: Termites

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There’s no question about it: termites are a serious nuisance. They can cause major damage to structures that can cause serious headaches for homeowners and business owners--and cost them a fortune in the process. With that said, even termites- probably one of the most reviled pests out there- still contribute some good things. Here are a few ways that termites actually do some good, when they aren’t chewing through floorboards and wall beams. 

Holding soil in hands gardening

1. Termites are Great for Soil

Termites are well-known for their need to burrow; when that tunnel burrowing happens outside of human-built structures, it actually becomes an invaluable asset in creating healthy, mineral-rich soil. When termites burrow, they open up travel pathways in the soil that allows moisture to travel deep into the ground. Creating these moisture pathways helps reduce water runoff and soil erosion!

2. Termite Droppings are Good for the Environment

Termites are one of the few living things that can break cellulose down into a reusable, waste. When they consume cellulose, in the process of digestion all unwanted materials- like dead plant matter and animal poop- are broken down and combined in the termites stomach to create a fauna friendly compound that is then excreted by the termites in the form of frass--also known as termite poop. In other words, termites in the wild can help with the growth of vegetation and microbes--with their poop!

3. Termites Might Help Prevent Forest Fires

Smokey the Bear’s famous catchphrase is, “Only you can prevent forest fires”, but he forgot all about one thing: termites. Because termites naturally devour wildfire fuel- AKA dead wood- they may very well be a vital part of forest fire prevention, according to a 2010 study. Termites in your house? Bad. Termites in forests? Potential life-savers.

4. Are Termites the Key to Renewable Fuel?

Biologists have, in recent years, been researching the digestive systems of termites in an attempt to understand how humans could utilize their processes to turn over a billion tons of biomass into biofuel, sometimes referred to as “grassoline”. If this “code” could be cracked, it would have the potential to reduce automobile emissions by as much as 86%. Not bad for an insect with a bad reputation for causing major home damage. 

 

 

It’s clear that termites- somewhat surprisingly- have some good qualities, from contributing to healthy rich soil to preventing wildfires. But the reality is none of those good things have anything to do with having termites in your home. That’s where Thomas Pest Services comes in; we provide full service, pesticide-free termite control solutions that cover everything from inspection to trap installation to monitoring that will stop termites in their tracks, and keep them from coming back. We’ll take care of the termites in your home or business, and make sure termites stay outdoors, where they can actually do some good. 


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