Researchers Discover AChemical Used By Termites For Communication

Termite infestation in unprotected buildings and wooden structures can result to very expensive long term damages. It is important to control termite population before it threatens the integrity of a property through pest control in Sydney that will undertake inspections before they provide you with a quote.

According to researchers from North Carolina State University, they have identified a certain chemical that is used by the kings and queens and termites populations to communicate they royal status to the lower class of termite workers. The findings provide more advanced knowledge on how termites behave and evolve and how they can be controlled.

The study that was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that a wax-like hydrocarbon can be found on the body surface of the subterranean termites so that the worker termites will recognize their higher status and care for them. The wax-like hydrocarbon is a chemical that consists of carbon and hydrogen atoms called heneicosane. Termites hide under the ground or on wood structures. They are generally blind which requires chemicals so that they can communicate.

According to Coby Schai, Blanton J. WhitmireDistingushed Professor of Etymologyof NC State, this is the first that a report was made on the king and queen recognition pheromone in termites. Gas chromatography was used in the isolation of specific chemicals from the exoskeletons of the royal and worker termites. Heneicosanewas found on the royal termites but not on the worker termites.

When the chemical heneicosanewas placed inside glass dummies that will serve as proxies for the royal termites, the worker termites started shaking an action that reflects recognition of royalty. The insects shook more when the royal pheromone was mixed with hydrocarbons from the colony’s workers because it represented their colonies’ odour.

The discovery is very important to pest control in Sydney because they will be able to control termite populations without the use of hazardous chemicals. Termites are major pests affecting businesses in Sydney and causing billions of damages. It is important to control their population so that the insects will not spread to other states and territories in Australia.