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Where Did Termites Come From?

Filed under: Uncategorized — New Jersey Pest Control @ 3:03 am June 21, 2017

Where Did Termites Come From?Termite

Termites have caused a lot of misery to a lot of people, and it is fair to say that termites are among the most hated of all insects. It is not surprising then that termites are related to another insect that is universally despised–the cockroach. Termites evolved from cockroaches one hundred and forty million years ago. Termites evolved from a particular type of cockroach that burrowed deep into wood. Today, there is no living cockroach that is directly related to modern termites. The cockroach genus known as Cryptocercus is the oldest living relative to modern termites. The Cryptocercus can be found China, Korea and North America.

The Cryptocercus behaves in a manner that is quite similar to termites. Male and female roaches of this genus will pair up before finding a home in a large piece of wood. One single piece of wood serves as the Cryptocercus’s home, and source of food, for the duration of their life spans. After the Cryptocercus female lays around ten eggs, the male and female spend the next three years raising their offspring, which is about half of a Cryptocercus’s life span. It turns out that early termites behaved in a manner similar to that of the Cryptocercus.

Early termite parents did not bear many offspring, but as generations progressed, termite offspring began to care for other younger members of the termite colony. This relieved early termite parents from the time consuming burden of raising offspring, and therefore, termite mothers could start producing more offspring. This is how termites became capable of creating colonies with millions of members. Eventually, the younger termites began to divide labor among other termite members of a colony. Today, each termite in a termite colony has a precise duty and title. As damaging as many types of termites can be, there is no doubt that termites demonstrate a tremendous degree of evolutionary success.

Have you ever realized that you had brought termites into your home by accident? If so, was their devastating consequences?