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Termites



Termites
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.58

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    appetite, caste, immobilize, maturity, reproductives, rubber-like, termitaries, voracious, reproductive, dubbed, sterile, towering, social, based, arboreal, homestead


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Termites   

1     With a voracious appetite for cellulose, termites are truly bad news to anything made of wood. To make matters worse, they never act alone. That means if we spot one termite in our house, there must be a swarm of them hiding somewhere, quietly eating away the homestead. It is no wonder that termites are considered household pests!
 
2     Like wasps, social bees, and ants, termites live in large nests called colonies. A colony usually consists of three different classes or castes -- the worker, the soldier, and the reproducers -- whose roles and responsibilities are clearly defined based on their names. Workers are the most numerous in the colony. They carry out all the household chores, such as collecting food, tending eggs, feeding nymphs (young termites), constructing and repairing the nest, and grooming soldiers and reproducers. Though they may be the smallest, they are the most damaging and destructive.
 
3     Slightly larger than workers, soldiers have enlarged, armored heads and powerful jaws. When the colony is under attack, they defend it forcefully, using their mandibles to snip and snap intruders. Soldiers of some species can even secrete a sticky, poisonous substance that turns rubber-like after exposure to air. This special means of defense can immobilize the enemy and render it helpless. Both worker and soldier termites are wingless and sterile.

Paragraphs 4 to 5:
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