What are termites?

It is a common misconception that termites are a single species of insects. However, this is not the case. Termites are a group of eusocial insects. “Eusocial” is a term referring to the highest degree of social organization amongst insect species. Although they are often called “white ants”, they are not closely related to true ants.

As eusocial insects, termites live in colonies, ranging in size from a few hundred to millions of individual termites. Each colony consists of nymphs (semi-mature young), workers, soldiers and workers. This is the reason why when termites attack homes, they cause significant damage.

Typically, termites feed on wood, leaf litter, soil or animal dung.  However, only 10% of the 4,000 known species are known for being able to cause significant damage to buildings, crops or plantation forests.

Want to find out more about termites? Check out the pages such as “diet”, “life cycle” and “ecology” to find out more.