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Termites' Food Selection Ability Studied

Termites' Food Selection Ability Studied

Australian scientists have discovered termites can identify what sort of material their food is made of without having to actually touch the food source.

The finding by researchers at the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization and the University of New South Wales could provide improvements in termite control.

The scientists found that when offered a choice of normal wooden blocks and specially designed blocks made of wood and other materials, the termites always preferred the blocks containing the most wood, even when they could not touch or see the other materials.

The researchers said the ability to differentiate between food sources is based on the vibrations of the food the termites are eating, although the exact mechanism for that ability has not yet been determined.

"If we understand how they use vibrations to assess their food, we might be able to exploit this to manipulate their feeding habits, and address the very significant problem of termite damage in buildings and other structures," said lead investigator Ra Inta.

Source = API News

George Williams,
General Manager - Staff Entomologist

Pest Control, RI, Pest Control, MA


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