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Some primal termite knocked on wood

Tasted it, and found it good

And that is why your Cousin May

Fell through the parlor floor today.
—"The Termite" by Ogden Nash

Termites are portrayed in fiction as very fast munchers of wood making saw blade sounds; often, simply a terrifying invisible force that disintegrates wood rapidly. They are often a problem in buildings and may require fumigation tents.

See also Horde of Alien Locusts.

Examples of Termite Trouble include:


  • In the Lucky Luke comic "The bridge on the Mississippi" the evil mayor suggest the constructor of the bridge (of wood) to celebrate the opening by swinging a bottle of champagne against it. As a test a seemingly empty bottle is used, but it really contained termites, which afterward unnoticed, begin to eat up the bridge from inside. Then the cavalry came and want to use the bridge, but when they ride over, it collapsing under their weight. And of course, this part of the fleet just happens to be full of alligators...


  • In the book No Score, the narrator works for a little while with a scam company which sells termite inspection & extermination door to door; they carry small vials of termites to release so the homeowner can actually see them.

Video Games

  • In Escape from Monkey Island, Guybrush must at one point infest the baddie's cane with a handful of termites so that he can follow the resulting trail of sawdust to the villain's lair. By the time you get there, the cane has dissolved completely.

Western Animation

  • The Pink Panther episode "Pink Pest Control": A termite bedevils the panther by literally eating him out of house and home. Watchable here.
  • Also from DFE, The Ant and the Aardvark episode "Rough Brunch": The Aardvark fights a termite (and his family) who can eat through wood products at lightning speed with the accompanying sound of a buzzsaw. There's a complete episode guide here and the episode is viewable here.
  • On one Looney Tunes cartoon, Porky Pig had to deal with a termite caricatured as a French-Canadian lumberjack. The exterminator Porky hires causes far more trouble for him than the termite.
  • For a sci-fi take on it, there's the Woody Woodpecker cartoon "Termites From Mars".
  • An episode of The Berenstain Bears featured a story about a termite who teams up with the episode's villain to sell bogus "termite insurance" to bears. The scam involves the termite chowing down on wooden property.
  • The last episode of the western animated series Zoo Cup is about a soccer match between kangaroos and termites. Or rather it should be. Because just when kangaroos and the commentator are busy wondering where the termites' team and their supporters are, the termites eat up the entire stadium in seconds.
  • In one episode of The Huckleberry Hound Show, Huck encountered a crafty termite.
  • Tom and Jerry, in an episode of their 1970s series, dealt with a gang of termites on tiny motorcycles with sawblade wheels.
  • One episode of The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh was about a swarm of termites raiding Rabbit's house.
  • One episode of The Simpsons was about the titular family being forced to live in a 19th Century home as part of a reality show because their house was badly damaged by termites living in a hockey stick.
  • A termite in Oggy and the Cockroaches had gigantic metal jaws and could reduce anything to splinters in a second. Even electrical appliances.
  • An episode of Eek the Cat called "The Eeksterminator" had the eponymous cat accidentally breaking Wendy Elizabeth's inflatable Squishy Bears cage of termites and dealing with a termite that freed from the cage.
  • An episode of Popeye deals with Popeye defending his newly built home from termites. After eating his spinach, he rebuilt his house completely out of steel.
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