For Termites, Home is Where the Molt Is

premolt termites

If, like some creatures on this Earth, you had to periodically shed your skin, would you prefer to do that out in public or in the privacy of your own home? If you’d choose the latter, then congratulations—you have at least one thing in common with a termite. In a study published the Journal of […]

More Than a Pest: Termites as Models for Evolutionary Transitions

Coptotermes formosanus overhead view

By Thomas Chouvenc, Ph.D. The Formosan subterranean termite (Coptotermes formosanus) is an infamous termite pest species, but it is also an interesting model for studying the evolution of termites and complex behaviors in eusocial insects. A study published in January in Environmental Entomology investigated the social behaviors of workers in young and old termite colonies […]

As Termite Range Expands, Half of Structures in South Florida May Be at Risk by 2040

Asian and Formosan subterranean termites cause about $40 billion a year in structural damage globally, and researchers from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences predict these pests will dramatically increase their impact in the next two decades in South Florida. They estimate that subterranean termite activity will expand, meaning half the […]

Some Types of Wood Contain Natural Chemicals that Are Toxic to Termites

By some estimates, termites cause about $40 billion per year in damage globally, and they destroy parts of more than 600,000 homes in the United States alone. The amount of wood a single colony destroys depends on the type of termite and the type and condition of the wood. For example, the heartwood of some […]

Florida Scientists Discover Super Termites, and They’re Not Genetically Modified

By Richard Levine Formosan subterranean termites (Coptotermes formosanus) and Asian subterranean termites (Coptotermes gestroi) are the most damaging pest species in the world. Both are highly invasive and have spread throughout many areas of the world due to human activity, and their distributions overlap in some areas. Now scientists in Florida have observed Formosan males […]