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Termite genome could lead to greener treatments

June 7, 2014

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — A Purdue University researcher hopes a new study of the Nevada dampwood termite leads to less toxic control of the destructive pests.

The genome of the Nevada dampwood termite was published in the May 20 issue of Nature Communications.

The Nevada dampwood doesn’t cause significant damage to buildings, but it is closely related to the eastern subterranean termite that is the main pest species in Indiana and the eastern United States. Termites cause about $40 billion in damage and control treatments each year.

Researchers have long searched for greener ways to treat termite infestations.

Purdue entomologist Michael Scharf tells the Journal & Courier (http://on.jconline.com/1hvLfkP ) that knowing about the genome could provide a “road map” that leads to less invasive methods of combating the insects.

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Information from: Journal and Courier, http://www.jconline.com

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