Termite mud found behind a wall in a home
… so says the University of Florida, whose nine-year study concluded that termite poo acts as a natural antibiotic! Who would have thought?
For 50 years, scientists have been trying to develop an environmentally friendly, biological termite treatment using fungi, which has been successful in a petri dish but not in the wild. This latest research has shown why they’ve been having trouble: the ‘mud’ that makes up termite nests and tunnels (which they create out of their own poo and wood fibres) actually grows good bacteria and suppresses pathogens – i.e. it becomes a natural antibiotic.
This breakthrough (while it puts a stop to the biological options) means that they can develop more effective termite treatments that overcome the termites’ defence mechanisms. The university will also be investigating whether their learnings can be applied to the development of human drugs for antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
How can I protect my home from termites naturally?
There are simple ways to protect your home by making it less tempting to termites and they’re all chemical free! All is required is some expert knowledge (“paging Rentokil!”) and a little elbow grease. Check out our interactive Why my home? tool below to see how you can prevent termites inside and outside the home: