Monday, 24 August, 2015
So termites predate on your home, but surely there are predators out there that target termites?
Ants. Let’s start with the most common one. Ants are the termite’s nemesis. They have been locked in mortal combat for millions of years. The fact that many people confuse them should give you a clue as to why this is. No, it is not because they have ‘stolen their look’ but rather that they both occupy a similar niche in the environment and as the two most numerous insects on the planet they have a lot of soldiers to do battle with, literally. Both species have soldiers who have primarily evolved to fight the other species, which tells you a lot about how serious this conflict is, they actually have an entire caste that is solely for fighting.
Spiders. Right, the next predator of termites, and probably the second most common, is the spider. Obviously not all spiders will hunt termites as there are loads of species of spiders who are basically hunting in exactly the wrong kind of place to get the termite. Most termites live in colonies underground, while many spiders build webs in the air. Not exactly the best mix. However, there are plenty of spider species who hunt termites on and under the ground. There are also winged termites who are tasked with finding a new food source and they will often become food for the spider.
Birds. Some bird species eat termites as well. While some birds eat termites, this is not that common as most termites stay pretty well hidden and the birds are better to pick off less evasive insects.
Nematodes. Nematodes are microscopic worms that infect termites, they live in the soil that the termites live in and they eat termites from the inside out. While some nematodes are considered beneficial in gardens, others are just common variety garden parasites. In fact, while you don’t really want to encourage spiders and ants around your home, beneficial nematodes might be one part of a subterranean termite control program for an edible garden, so maybe you could develop a mastermind anti termite predation program after all!
Posted in termites