The Dwarf Mongoose: Living with Termites


The common Dwarf Mongoose is no fool when it comes to food and housing. They live in and around termite mounds because of the shelter provided for their young, the food and the view.

Termite mounds are a common sight in Africa where the Dwarf Mongoose is found. Termite mounds provide a home for termites and a mini-ecosystem for the surrounding area. Small animals use the termite mounds as “high ground” so that they can get a view of their surroundings and even watch out for predators. Once a termite mound has been abandoned the small animals make use of the castle as their new home.

The Dwarf Mongoose takes this a step further, actually living in an active termite mound. These social animals live in groups of two to twenty individuals with a dominant male and female pair. The community is comprised of more females than males and the dominant female is the only one entitled to give birth. The “queen” mongoose will have a litter of about six pups which are housed in the termite mound until they are old enough to forage for food. Submissive females take care of the pups in the mound while the mother goes out for food. The dominant male is usually in charge of protecting the family.

The home territory of the Dwarf Mongoose will often include a number of termite mounds, and even bee hives or hornets’ nests. They like to be around these pests because it keeps the risk of predators down. They also share territories along with hunting and sentry duties with Horn-bills in yet another symbiotic relationship.

The irony is not lost on this writer that the society of the Dwarf Mongoose is very similar to the termites they live with and eat. In addition to termites the mongoose eats other insects such as crickets, spiders, and even scorpions. They also eat small rodents and birds.

The Common Dwarf Mongoose is a tame creature that often builds their home near human villages or settlements where there are no cats and dogs. I would venture to guess that is because wherever there are humans there will be pests and since the Dwarf Mongoose survives by eating those pests, the human mongoose relationship would be symbiotic as well.

The Dwarf Mongoose is cute and sociable as well as very tame when compared to other wild animals. It would be wonderful if they could join the resistance against pests in Arizona, but they don’t do well in arid lands. We will have to settle for regular termite treatments in Scottsdale since we don’t have the Dwarf Mongoose to rid us of the pests. Arizona residents should have annual termite inspections and your first inspection is free.



Mesa AZ –

Termite Control Arizona

MESA, AZ 85210-2064

(480) 582-0996