Tempe Termites

A termite’s main food source is cellulose obtained from fully instant or partly decayed wood and materials such as paper, cardboard, and even cotton. But some termites – forager or harvester termites collect and eat grass, leaves, and straw. And some termites are humivores, or exclusively humus (organic matter found in soil) feeders.

Termites Unable to Feed Themselves

Not all members of the termite colony – including the reproductives, soldiers, and young nymphs – are able to feed themselves directly, and thus rely on the worker termites to feed them. In fact, the workers are the only ones able to feed themselves. And in fact, termites don’t actually do the digesting either!


Digestion of cellulose in the termite is reliant on symbiotic flagellate protozoa which live in the termite’s gut. The protozoa live anaerobically (without oxygen) in the termite’s hindgut. The secrete enzymes such as cellulase and cellobiase that are responsible for breaking down cellulose into a simple sugar (glucose) as well as acetic acid. Without the help of these protozoa, termites would starve.

Other Staples of the Termite Diet

But termites do not only rely on cellulose. They also require vitamins and nitrogenous foods (e.g., proteins). They receive these nutrients from fungi that is naturally present in the decayed wood where termites also seek their cellulose. This fungi actually helps break down the food into components that are easily digested by the termites and the protozoa that lives in them.

Need help in Glendale? Visit Glendale Termite Control.

Arizona Termite Control

Contact Info:

Termite Control Tempe
1753 E Broadway 
STE #101
Tempe AZ 85282
(480) 630-3019
License # 8918