Feces in termites' nests block biological pest control

Built-in poop nourishes bacteria that protect notorious Formosan species

By Susan Milius, 17:54 PM October 3, 2013

Mixing their own poop into nest walls gives Formosan termites a bacterial boost in fighting off human attempts to destroy them with insect plagues.

A bacterial strain found in the fecally-enhanced nest walls of pest termites Coptotermes formosanus helps protect them from a potentially deadly fungus, says entomologist Nan-Yao Su of the University of Florida in Fort Lauderdale. Such live-in boosters could help explain why efforts to control the termites with fungal diseases have been a failure, ...

Source URL: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/feces-termites-nests-block-biological-pest-control?mode=magazine&context=187368