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Termites: Gourmets, Not Gourmands

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Termites: Gourmets, Not Gourmands

Science

Termites: Gourmets, Not Gourmands

Termites: Gourmets, Not Gourmands

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4515560/4515561" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

When it comes to devouring wood, termites are actually quite picky, according to researchers. Scientists have discovered that termites use vibrations to identify the perfect meal. Now a high-tech front line is opening in the battle over floor joists.

An invasion of termites is a homeowner's nightmare. The insects munch on wood, causing damage costing billions of dollars every year. Now, Australian researchers have discovered that some termites use sound to decide what to eat. And that could lead to creative new defenses against the hungry invaders.

Their findings are being printed in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

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