UF Researchers Find Termite Fecal Matter Holds Antibiotic Properties
Published September 19th, 2013
GAINESVILLE- A new UF study shows termites are protecting themselves by employing a bit of biology.
The resistance is bad news for residents who want to get rid of the gnawing problem affecting their homes and businesses.
Researchers say that globally, termites have drained more than $40 million dollars from our pockets.
A chunk of that is spent on pest control.
Now, however, the pests have found a way to fight back.
And it all lies in their poop... Yes you heard correctly.
UF Termite Researcher, Nan-Yao Su says,
"What is particularly unique about this is that termites are using their fecal materials to smear around inside their tunnel system and that becomes a barrier to allow only the good pathogens, the good microbes coming in."
The termite poop is a metabolic byproduct of wood pulp digestion and is relatively clean.
It acts as an antibacterial agent against fungi commonly used to exterminate termite populations.
Researchers hope these termite findings will actually pave the way for new human antibiotics.
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