Subterranean termite colonies can be as large as 1 million individuals with a foraging territory and underground galleries stretching up to 100 meters long. How does an entomologist study something that large? Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how researchers at the University of Florida have raised entire termite colonies from scratch and devised experimental setups that mimic large foraging and nesting areas while still fitting inside a lab.
A new termite-control method currently in development looks to combine the advantages of a liquid insecticide application with the comprehensive impact of existing solid termite bait systems.
A visual analogy created by termite researcher Thomas Chouvenc, Ph.D., illustrates the damage termites can wreak upon a house. Given a small, two-dimensional wooden replica of a house (30x20 cm, 2 mm thick), a colony of 2,000 Formosan subterranean termites took only three weeks to consume it.
How did a ground-dwelling insect like the termite Macrotermes gilvus get from mainland Myanmar all the way out to the islands of the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia? The answer lies in ancient land bridges.
A new study in the Journal of Economic Entomology shows exposure to an insecticide bait known as a chitin synthesis inhibitor for as little as one day may be sufficient to eliminate a colony of Asian subterranean termites
Formosan subterranean termites have a strong urge to return to their central nest when it's time to molt.
As far as insect reputations goes, termites are typically known as pests. They get little of the adulation heaped on their pollinator cousins. But a new discovery of a fossilized […]
By Thomas Chouvenc Well, they don’t exactly change diapers, but when it comes to the latrine and nest sanitation, old termites are in charge. Age polyethism, where workers change tasks […]
Insects that are “eusocial” live in colonies with closely related nestmates and display social behavior, including a division of labor. The best-known examples are honey bees, termites, and ants. All […]
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 […]
By Richard Levine Coptotermes is one of the most economically destructive genera of termites, and it includes the Formosan subterranean termite (Coptotermes formosanus). For years, taxonomists have struggled with a […]
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 […]
Termites Awareness Week was created a few years ago to help bring attention to the extensive damage done by termites and the steps homeowners can take to prevent them. Throughout […]
Next week — March 15-21, 2015 — is National Termite Awareness Week, an annual observance by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) to promote public vigilance against termites. And what […]
New research published in the journal Science suggests that termite nests are crucial to stopping the spread of deserts. In the parched grasslands and savannas of Africa, South America, and […]
Entomologists at the University of Florida recently published an article in the Annals of the Entomological Society of America that may help to explain the seasonal activities of termites. The […]