Termites are a threat to properties, and homeowners typically, use insecticides to get rid of termite infestations. Termites are an old guard of insects originating in the Permian era. Very closely linked to cockroaches, they are extremely hard to eliminate.
Why is it a problem? Termites are small insects that consume vegetables and wood, which cause a lot of money in repair costs for many homeowners. The good news is that termites can be eaten by several insects, microorganisms, and vertebrates. You can get rid of the termite infestation in your home by finding out the animals that eat termites and then placing near the humble abode of the termites in your home.
So, you know how to get rid of the termites in your home quickly, but what animals do you need to find to eliminate the termite in your home? A juicy and scrumptious termite might not sound like the perfect snack, but it is precisely that for certain creatures. What are these creatures that eat termites?
Termites are generally found in drier environments where they are a critical source of food for many insects and animals. They are rich in protein and fats and offer plenty of water as an add-on which makes them a classic animal food in regions that lack other nutritional and water resources. So, we know the type of regions where the termite-eating animals are found but what animals are these? These animals are detailed below.
The termites are eaten by several bird species. More precisely, the Kookaburra is a major hunter of termites in the Southern California region. Some birds directly attack the mound of the termites to catch and eat their prey. You will them putting their beaks inside the mound, calmly eating termites at the dining table.
Once kookaburras are done eating, they will dislodge the homes of the termites and carry it with them to use as a freshly built bird house. Another species of birds that feeds on termites is the woodpecker. The popular depiction of a woodpecker nibbling away at trees is real and not just a cliché. Woodpeckers are always looking for several pests to eat, including termites, bees, and beetle larvae.
Ants are amongst the most common predators of termites. Sometimes, ants would invade and take over a whole colony of termites. Wood ants, legionary ants, and fire ants all feed on termites in the wood and chimney.
The carpenter ants often occupy captured termites colonies and are thus frequently falsely accused of damaging homes. However, this indicates that carpenter ants are a big killer of termites and can help you get rid of the termite infestation in your home. After the ants get rid of the termites in your home, you can eliminate them as well. It may sound like an evil plan but it is for your good.
The large parasitic ground beetle only feeds on termites and ants. It uses its mighty jaw to eat termites after attacking their nests while using its leg to push away any termites that attempt to fend it off. Moreover, the beetle collects acids from termites that it can use to expel from its belly to protect itself against bigger predators.
Reptiles and Amphibians
To add to the woes for termites, we can add amphibians and reptiles to the list of natural predators that feed on them. The skinks, agamid lizards, and the giant monitor lizards can be found feeding on termites in Kenya. In Australia, legless lizards, gooseberries, and geckos feast on termites.
Certain blind / worm snakes, like the eastern blind snake, may even take up residence in wood infested by termites to eat termites and their eggs whenever hungry. Lastly, as some termites can fly, you will find frogs feeding on them often.
Of special interest are the nematodes when it comes to predators that feed on termites. This is because nematodes are they are microscopic organisms that kill termites from the inside out after infecting them.
Nematodes are so strong in poisoning termites that many soil termite control programs utilize them to counter the devastation termites can inflict in a garden.
Termite predators don’t just exist above the ground, but they also live underneath it. Creatures such as moles and shrews will be interested in a meal if they come across a colony of termites. Other mammals which constantly look out for colonies of termites include the following:
Some would be shocked to know that primates can also be added to the list of known termite hunters. These beloved animals were cogently observed using instruments to remove termites from a colony for a delicious treat.
The tiniest species of mongoose, the dwarf mongoose grows only to a maximum of seven to ten inches. They generally live in groups of up to twenty of their kind and usually use various caves and termites to build their base. Nonetheless, termite mounds are a beloved of theirs because they always provide sufficient settling space and food when needed.
Although they can be a potential problem themselves, humpback flies can help you get rid of the termites in your home. Similar to fruit flies except for a prominent hump on the abdomen, humpback flies lay their eggs in the bodies of termites and other big insects. Although utilized as a biological agent of control for many prominent insects, humpback flies are yet to attain the status of a termite control method. However, this needs to happen fast, considering how effective humpback flies are in getting rid of terminates in home and other places.
Armadillos have low metabolism and very little body fat. As a result of this, they tend to live in warm climatic areas, including dessert and rain forest. It has diet comprising of beetles, grubs, and worms, but its preferred species are termites and ants. Their sturdy legs and tight front grips help them dig down deep into a mound of termites where they utilize their long tongue to remove termites.
Dragonflies can be observed in their alate or aerial reproduction phase feeding on termites from mid-air. The larvae of dragonfly reside in high-quality and fast flowing water streams, inhaling through rear tracheal grills. Dragonfly poaching can impede the emergence of new termite colonies and their development.
Since they are edentate animals, anteaters do not have any teeth. What they do possess, though, is a wide tongue that is more than enough to eat thirty-five thousand termites and ants every day. The anteater uses its strong jaws to dig a hole into a mound of termite, through which it puts in its tongue.
Its tongue can flutter up to a hundred and sixty times every minute, which allows it to disrupt the mound and to catch as many termites as possible. Surprisingly enough, an anteater seldom eliminates a whole termite mound. Instead, it returns to the mound at a later stage chooses and starts eating again.
The final termite-eating animal on our list is the praying mantis. Praying mantises are very strongly linked to termites. Mantises attack their victims by camouflaging themselves as part of the vegetation around them. When released, praying mantises can be major predators of harvesting termites, but only outside of termite colonies.
In this article, we discussed 12 animals that eat termites. These 12 animals included mammals, reptiles and amphibians, and insects. The termite-eating animals that are listed above are all creatures that can help you get rid of the termite infestation in your home. These animals include birds such as the Kookaburra and woodpecker, ants such as wood ants, legionary ants, fire ants and carpenter ants, mammals, such as primates, aardvarks, ants, armadillos, and anteaters, reptiles and amphibians, such as skinks, agamid lizards, the giant monitor lizards, worms, and snakes, oogpister beetle, nematodes, dwarf mongoose, humpback flies, armadillo, dragonflies, anteater, and praying mantis.
Using the information provided above, you can find out the animals that eat termite and then use this to your advantage i.e., use them to get rid of termites in your home. Additionally, the information provided above will let you know which insects or pests you need to keep in your home until all termites there are gone. In short, following this guide will allow you to get rid of the termites in your home.
Why Do I Need to Know the Animals That Eat Termites?
You need to know the animals that eat termites because this will allow you to know which animals you can bring into your home or allow staying there to eliminate the termite infestation in your home.