The Ultimate How Termites Work Quiz
by Staff
Termites have a bad rep for destroying homes, but are they actually that bad? What do you really know about the lowly termite? Learn more about this adaptable insect and how termite colonies function as a giant cooperative community by taking this quiz.

For how many years do experts believe that the termite has existed?

  • for about 10 million years
  • for some 25 million years
  • for about 50 million years

Approximately how many termite species live in the world today?

  • almost 3,000
  • almost 2,000
  • almost 1,000

Where can termites not live?

  • non-tropical areas
  • where there are no large trees
  • where ground deep freezes in the winter

How many castes or groups do termites fit into within a colony?

  • two
  • three
  • four

Approximately how many members of a terminate colony are reproductive termites?

  • usually only two
  • usually only six
  • usually only twelve

How do termites find their way around in the nest and when seeking food?

  • They use very complex eyes that can see without any light.
  • All termites except for the king and queen are blind and move by feel.
  • All termites except for the king and queen are blind and move by using scent and moisture trails.

Is there an obvious difference in appearance between a soldier termite and a worker termite?

  • No, soldier and worker termites appear the same to any observer.
  • Yes, soldiers have large darker heads and strong pincer-like mandibles.
  • Yes, soldiers have large transparent heads and have a lower and upper set of mandibles.

What function do workers perform in a termite colony?

  • Worker termites dig tunnels, gather food and care for those too young to feed themselves.
  • Worker termites feed the king and queen termite as well as the soldiers.
  • Both of the above lists apply to worker termites.

What are the mating habits of the king and queen of most species of termites?

  • They are monogamous and they continue to mate even though the queen can store sperm.
  • They mate only once as the queen can store sperm indefinitely.
  • The queen will spend most of her time with the king but occasionally will mate with a secondary reproductive.

What part of wood does a termite’s food come from?

  • cellulose composed of glucose molecules
  • lignin, the chief non-carbohydrate constituent of wood
  • hemicellulose, a polysaccharide

If cellulose is a plant sugar, why is it that humans do not also eat wood?

  • Humans lack the special protein enzyme called cellulase that is required to break down the sugars in cellulose.
  • Humans lack the bacteria and protozoans required to break down cellulose to digestible sugars.
  • Humans lack both of the above either of which are required to break down cellulose.

Into how many categories do the organisms found in a termite’s hindgut divide termites?

  • two
  • three
  • four

What is a significant feature of termites that gives them great survival agility?

  • Entire colonies of termites can hibernate for years during very dry spells.
  • Termites are in perpetual larval state and can molt into other castes except for the king and queen.
  • Entire colonies of termites can move migrate from their old nest and build a new nest rapidly.

What happens when part of a termite colony swarms?

  • A swarm happens when workers molt into winged adults that are capable of reproducing.
  • A swarm happens when a new queen is born, the old queen ejects her and part of the colony decides to follow.
  • A swarm happens when a King is born causing a nearby female to molt into a queen others follow the new couple.

What happens to the alates after they make their nuptial flight?

  • They land, break off their wings and seek a mate to pair up.
  • They will often walk for miles until the wings fall off after which the males will wait for a female to come along.
  • A male and female will pair up in flight, land together, they break off their wings and mate once sealed in a new nest.

What percentages of termite species are beneficial to our planet and not destructive to homes at all?

  • 90 percent
  • 75 percent
  • 60 percent

What species of destructive and aggressive terminate was introduced to the United States by accident after World War II?

  • Asian Warier termite
  • Formosan termite
  • German Black Forest termite

How long can a pre-building treatment of the soil at a construction site kill and repel termites?

  • at least seven years
  • at least five years
  • at least three years

How can you tell termites in the form of alates apart from ants?

  • Ants antennae are bent and termite antennae do not bent but look like a fine straight string of pearls.
  • Ants have narrow waists but termites have wide waists.
  • Both of the above are true statements about ant and termite differences.

What is a sure sign that termites have invaded your home?

  • You detect a persistent but faint odor of garlic that will not dissipate or disappear no matter what you try.
  • You notice the sudden appearance of shelter tubes running up your cinder blocks, concrete or brick.
  • Both of the above are true of home termite infestation.