what eats termites?

When termites thrive in your home and start to invade every wood structure and furniture, dealing with termite control problems as early as possible will prevent further damage. There is no better remedy than to turn to chemical solutions to control them. However, some people don’t prefer the use of chemicals to treat their home and control the damage. Fortunately, there are many natural remedies and natural predators of termites. Termites usually make their colonies in the wild, just like ants, and in their search for cellulose, moisture and wood, they lead to people’s homes and invade people dwellings.

Do Termites Have a Natural Predator

Certain termites & ants of every colony will grow wings and in three to four years will leave their nest to look for a mate to start a new colony. It is the time when you can see termite swarms. Winged termites and ants are prone to predation by a variety of animals and insects, a reason why subterranean termites see your home as a safe and secured place. So if you find termite swarms in your home, it would help if you know what eats termites.

Mammals and Marsupials

There are many mammals that search and eat termites. In some parts of the world, humans are eating termites. Termites are a people delicacy and offer medicinal benefits. But in the wild, many animals and other insects are eating termites.

When in your home, the apparent animal that would eat pests are cats. Although cats will not choose to eat termites, once they found a termite colony, cats would likely attack and kill scurrying pests. Swarming termites often leave the nest early evening, which allows genets and civets and other predators within the vicinity to kill and eat these flying bugs. Echinidnas, aardvarks and anteaters are known to search for pests and dine on them.

Moles

Underground animals like moles are a threat to subterranean termites. They thrive mostly underground, and termites are an easy food source from where they live. Anteaters will seek out termites and will devour to the entire colony once they discover it.

Reptiles and Amphibians

Other animals that may attack termite swarms are lizards, frogs and snakes. In other nations, giant monitor lizards, agamid lizards, geckos, frill-necked lizards, legless lizards and skinks have been dining on termites. Furthermore, blind/worm snakes, such as eastern blind snakes stay directly under the termite infested wood to now eat termites and termite eggs as they get hungry. As soon as termites fly into the air, any type of frog in the area will grab them to eat.

Insects that Eat Termites

Predators of termites range from small to large, and believe it or not their most dangerous predators are their very own species. 

Spiders

As homeowners, if your house is large, there is a big possibility that there may be spider webs around, and seeking out termites is an easy way of finding a meal. If there are no flying bugs that will get caught in the spider’s web, then spiders will search for food sources. Seeking out termites is an easy meal as spiders will bite on the pests, paralyze them and it will be easy to drag back to its nest. Although it is not a good idea to have both insects in your home, having spiders kill these pests is acceptable form of pest control services.

Ants

The sworn enemy of termites are ants. Carpenter ants and termites have similar anatomy and behaviors of the colony, from workers, soldiers, and queens. Unlike spiders that may prey on termites, carpenter ants cannot be considered as one form of pest control services since ants bring their own set of problems to your home. However, an ant is a forceful and combative creature that may attack and pillage the termite colonies.

Carpenter ants will not only attack pests, but they will eat them. Soldier ants invade termite colonies, and they fight with the soldier termites. Since the termites are blind, ants always win over the termites and typically destroy a colonies quicker than spiders.

Other insects

In the wild, the predation threat from other insects is very high. Crickets, ladybugs, beetles, scorpions and other lawn and garden pests attack and eat any type of a pest who are foraging around a home. Most predators of such pest seek out a flying pest where wasps, dragonflies, flies and defensive bees will kill flying termites.

What Bird Eats Termites

Birds are one of the most dangerous types of natural predators of termites in the wild. They seek out flying termites with razor-sharp precision and eradicate the entire swarm. Even primates take time to make tools to use in extract ing termites to eat. Large animals only eat termites if they find them, but they will search for a more substantial food source.

Hundreds of different birds dine on termites. Among the birds that like to eat termites are swallows, sparrows, starlings, swifts and weavers will fly and catch them to eat. Doves, eagles, owls, coucals and chickens prefer termite meal on the ground. Even storks will also take advantage of termite swarm if they are hungry. Even though a bird will not invade termite mounds, they eat everyone that crawls out.

Domesticated Species

Chickens enjoy eating bugs. If they roam the yard, they will scratch and peck at the ground and wood to search for bugs, including termites. If you give them a termite-infested log, chickens will eat every termite insight.

Woodpeckers

Woodpeckers pecking on wood in search of food will eat termites once they spot them. Woodpecker species live in North America, including pileated woodpecker and red-headed woodpecker.

Tropical

Toco Toucan is a tropical bird species that prey on termites. It is the only non-forest-dwelling toucan. They live on figs and fruits to supplement their diet with bugs, such as termites.

Waterbirds

During spring, young winged termite flies out of its nests to search for mates and make new homes. Waterbird species include African marabou stork, Egyptian goose, and North American black phoebe that feed on the swarming termites. Storks are scavengers that eat carrion to termites. Egyptian geese thrive on variety of plants and insects, and black phoebes to find food, such as termites and other bugs.

Other Birds

A bird eats seeds, fruits, and bugs, depending on where they live, the season and availability of food sources. Some of them enjoy eating termites as they have to forage through trees, vegetation, and leaf litter. North American species include American robin, brewer’s blackbird, common yellow throat, golden-crowned sparrow, and western bluebird.

What Eats Termites Specifically in North America

In North America, the main enemy and predator for termites are ants. Termites, ants are very similar based on their physical, social behavior, and composition. Like ants, termites are dominant and aggressive insects that will search for termite colonies and exterminate them to mark their territory.

Aside from insects, a bird is the most popular North American predator against termites. Among the different animals that eat termites, birds are the most persistent in destroying a swarm of flying termites if they are spotted. Almost all bird types eat termites if they spot them.

Moles are the fiercest predator of subterranean termites. They usually devour termites in succession and will likely not let a termite colony getaway since they have a small supply of food to choose from. Ants, birds, and moles are a threat to termites in North America.

In Summary

Termites are a serious nuisance to homeowners, and the battle between them is getting more difficult because of their ability to hide inside of the structures they are fed on. Many natural predators both in the wild and inside of a person’s home attack and eat termites. Often, termites have to face a dangerous and unpredictable journey before they get into a person’s home. 

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