Magazine article USA TODAY

Electronic Bug Dooms Termites

Magazine article USA TODAY

Electronic Bug Dooms Termites

Article excerpt

It's one bug against another. A termite expert says tests on a new electronic bug are more than 98% accurate in detecting subterranean termites chewing on wood near homes. Nan-Yao Su, professor of entomology with the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, explains that, "When termites start feeding on wood in bait stations in the ground around homes or other structures, their feeding activity can now be recorded on a microchip. When pest-control operators visit the site, the new electronic snooping system transmits the information directly to them, providing a quick and accurate report on termites before they have a chance to invade buildings."

The electronic sensor is a major enhancement on the termite monitoring and baiting system Su developed more than seven years ago. At the time, it was described as the biggest improvement in termite pest control in more than 50 years. He indicates that the bait system makes it possible to detect and control subterranean termites, including the highly destructive Formosan termite that has spread throughout Florida and the Southeast. Nationwide, annual damage estimates for termites range as high as $3,000,000,000. …

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