Termites are a homeowner’s worst nightmare. They are destructive pests that can lead to devastating and expensive damages to your home. Termite colonies not only cause damage to your home but can also be difficult to eradicate.
Termites are widespread pests in North America. Termites, along with ants, only make up 1% of insect species but represent more than 50% of insect biomass. That means there are a lot of these sneaky critters out there.
However, this also means that termites are widely available as a food source to various animals and even other insects. So what eats termites? Since they are active year-round, termites are often prey in areas with harsh climates. If other food sources are scarce, they’re at even higher risk.
Natural Termite Predators
Termites are rich in many nutrients, including iron, calcium, and protein. They make excellent, nutritious meals for predators. Termites also contain a lot of water. Since they thrive in drier climates, they are a great water source for animals in these areas. Natural termite predators include birds, mammals, arachnids, other insects, reptiles, and amphibians.
Termite swarms fly in large groups, searching for a new home. When they swarm, birds have a prime opportunity to eat them. Species that consume termites include spotted eagle owls, swifts, weavers, starlings, sparrows, and red-headed woodpeckers. Grain-eating birds like doves all join in the eating.
Some birds prefer to feed on termites when they’re in flight. Chickens, for example, also enjoy a termite-filled snack. While they cannot control termite infestations, they may help keep the termite population down around the house.
Like birds, winged mammals such as bats also enjoy feasting on termite swarms. Once on the ground, termites still cannot escape. They are easy prey for small mammals like mongoose, aardvarks, and anteaters.
Aardvarks and anteaters are expert termite hunters. Their snouts and long tongues allow them to extract termites from their homes. Armadillos, commonly found in Texas, prefer a diet of insects, so they also eat termites.
Interestingly, primates also search for termite colonies. Their higher intelligence allows them to use tools like sticks to remove termites to eat.
Arachnids and Other Insects
It’s might be strange to think of insects consuming other insects. Unfortunately for termites, they have to worry about becoming prey to other bugs. Ants are common predators of termites, with six different types of ants attacking termites actively.
Spiders love to catch and eat any flying termites that get caught in their webs. On the other hand, assassin bugs even break into termite mounds for a tasty meal.
Other insects that enjoy feasting upon termites include dragonflies, the praying mantis, beetles, wasps, and humpback flies.
Reptiles and Amphibians
Finally, termites also have to worry about both common reptiles and amphibians that enjoy eating them. Frogs, geckos, lizards, and snakes all consume termites. Frogs, much like birds and bats, especially enjoy going after flying termites.
Slender glass lizards, a type of legless lizard found in Texas, eat a range of insects, including termites. This is also the case for other reptiles.
Stampede Pest Control: Dependable Termite Experts
For over ten years, Stampede Pest Control has been proudly serving the communities of Houston, Austin, Cypress, and Dallas, Texas. We provide reliable termite inspection, prevention, and treatment. With extensive experience and skill, we get rid of your termite problems with pest control that’s guaranteed to work. We also offer organic pest control and pet and family safe chemicals.
If you have a termite infestation, do not wait for natural termite predators to come and save the day. Call our termite experts right away!