Termites Create Fertile Soil – Slow the Spread of Deserts
In recent years there’s been a lot of talk about the spread of the earth’s deserts. Areas that had at one time been lush and green are becoming barren wastelands–and this action seems to be accelerating worldwide.
Curiously, an insect feared by homeowners, the termite, may be part of a solution to desertification.
“New research published in the journal Science suggests that termite nests are crucial to stopping the spread of deserts. In the parched grasslands and savannas of Africa, South America, and Asia, termite mounds store nutrients and moisture, and — via internal tunnels — allow water to better penetrate the soil. As a result, vegetation flourishes on and near termite mounds in ecosystems that are otherwise highly vulnerable to desertification.
“The vegetation on and around termite mounds persists longer and declines slower,” said corresponding author Corina Tarnita. “Because termites allow water to penetrate the soil better, the plants grow on or near the mounds as if there were more rain. Even when you get to such harsh conditions where vegetation disappears from the mounds, re-vegetation is still easier. As long as the mounds are there, the ecosystem has a better chance to recover.” Credits: Termites May Help to Prevent Desertification – Entomology Today
Termites Create Fertile Soil – There job is to break wood down so it can be used as fertilizer.
Termites are one of the few species have the ability to break down materials that contain cellulose, like dead trees. The microorganisms that live within their gut allow them to digest the wood.
Termites Create Fertile Soil – But do you want that to happen to your home?
Leave them to their own devices, and termites will over time help your property to return to its original condition before your home was built! They’ll weaken the foundation and actually bring your home down. More homes are destroyed annually due to termite damage than to fires.
Termites Create Fertile Soil – What conditions attract them?
Termites are attracted especially to moist wood. For this reason, your first line of defense is to properly ventilate your home’s crawl spaces and wall voids.
Termites Create Fertile Soil – How to recognize the presence of termites.
One of the clearest warnings of a termite infestation is the little mud tunnel they create from the soil to the wooden structure of your home. The most common species of termite in the Northeast is the Subterranean Termite. This species prefers to remain hidden in moist soil or wood–thus the tunnels.
Termites Create Fertile Soil – What to do if you spot their tunnels under your home?
Don’t leave a termite problem unattended. While they might be valuable in the savannas of Africa, they’re literally converting your home back to nature!
Take action immediately.