Cleaner than Clean: Understanding the Grooming Habits of Termites in Japan
Many unfortunate homeowners in the United States, around 600,000 to be exact, will discover these pesky and hard-to-control insects snacking away at their homes. On top of that, it's estimated that $5 billion a year will be spent to control these insects and repair damage. What are these common, yet unwanted insects? Termites!
The United States isn't the only country that deals with them. In Japan, termites are also a major source of structural damage, costing an estimated $1 billion per year in control and repair. Japanese homes are predominately made of wood, as are a number of its cultural heritage sites.
Dr. Aya Yanagawa discusses how she and her colleagues research ways to more effectively control termites in Japan. Biological pathogens and odors show strong potential for getting rid of them, but as Dr. Yanagawa describes, understanding the insect's grooming behavior is key in increasing the pathogens's effects.
She goes more in depth in an interview with Katie-Leigh Corder, Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society and American Scientist's web managing editor.
Read Dr. Yanagawa's published research about this topic: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3016997/