Do you have termites? Better hope not, they are a big pest and colonies can eat up to a pound of wood every day. The National Pest Management Association shares this and other startling facts in a series of public announcements. A fun playlist called “Will They Eat It?” features an overly enthusiastic host figuring out what termites eat and what they don’t. Despite the laugh track and sparkling set, it’s chilling. In the video below he just casually dumps a whole cup of termites into a glass tank containing a fast food meal, containers and all.
Although we don’t know the elapsed time, watching hundreds of creepy termites systematically eat their way through lunch is both disgusting and mesmerizing. They eat the entire paper bag, burger, and fry bowl, but leave the fries and straw behind. Most of the paper wrapper on the straw is also still there. Maybe they don’t like plastic and it wasn’t worth the trouble. But why skip the fries? Finally, potatoes contain cellulose, the termites’ favorite snack. Does the salt bother you? Should I coat my whole house in salt?
Other entries in Will They Eat It? Playlist includes money, shoes and headphones. They are all so interesting and terrifying to look at. The PestWorld YouTube channel also has PSAs on other pests such as ticks, rats, bed bugs, roaches and hornets. It’s a long list of disgusting things that might be in your house right now. There’s also fun crafts to do with kids if that’s more your speed.
No matter how much you love fast food, watching a colony of termites waft through that meal may put you off burgers and fries for a while. Combine that with the knowledge that termite colonies can clone themselves and your skin can start crawling. I hope the scurrying in the walls is just my imagination.
Melissa is the science and technology writer for Nerdist. She also moderates “Science of” panels at conventions and is co-host of Star Warsologies, a podcast about science and Star Wars. Follow her on Twitter @melissatruth.