Where Do Termites Live?

Many people confuse termites with white ants. Although termites are social insects like ants, they are quite different. Termites have thick waist, are usually light in colour and have evenly curved feelers, or antennae.

Termites are found in every state in the United States and in Southern Canada. In Europe, they are found as far north as Paris and Vienna. The greatest number are to be found in the rainy tropical regions around the world.

Common termites burrow in wood and eat out the wood in which the colony lives. They from rooms which they may line with claylike material. This keeps the inner air moist. In the tropics, many kinds of termites build nests nests.


Some are mounds on the ground and may be 9 meters high and 15 meters across. Other are tree nests of various shapes and are usually about the size of a basketball. These nests protect the colonies from birds, lizards, spiders and ants. Some African termite nests have umbrella-like caps to shed the rain.

Others are built so they control the temperature within them. The building of nest by termites is an example of working through instinct alone. The nest is built by the new workers born in the colony. These workers have never lived in the nest their parents came from and they have no way of learning from other termites.

Yet when the nest is finished, it is like the one in the old colony from which the king and queen of the new nest came. In the United States, termites fall into three groups : those that burrow through the ground until they reach wood.

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