Carbon Dioxide May be the Future of Fighting Termite Infestation
By Frank Reece
Controlling termite infestations is no small task. Estimates for termite related damage range from $750 million to over a billion dollars a year in the United States. A Colorado State University scientist has made a ground breaking discovery. His discovery can help prevent from infesting homes at a much safer and cheaper way than any method currently on the market.
Louis Bjostad, an Entomologist, realized that termites' have a dependence to carbon dioxide. Termites use carbon dioxide to search for food and shelter. The revolution of his discovery lies in the fact, that this dependence can be used against the termites.
He initially felt that the process may be too simple to work. However, after he did further research, he realized that carbon dioxide most definitely attracts termites. By making this discovery, there is a plethora of possibilities for this to be used against termites. Bjostad did a simple experiment involving a T shaped tube and two species of termites. The discovery was made through the following experiment. He and some fellow researchers put the at one end of the tube. They then pumped normal air into one of the sections, and air higher in CO2 than normal air into the other section.
He observed that as the got to the T, it would stick out its antennae into each section. The majority of the chose the section which had the higher concentration of CO2. It was then he realized that they are attracted to air with higher
concentrations of carbon dioxide. Bjostad and his fellow researchers have two reasons they think the are attracted to the air with higher CO2. Wood, which is the primary diet of releases CO2 into the air as it rots. This may be in fact what guides the to the food source. Inside termite colonies the air is higher in carbon dioxide than normal. Bjostad and his fellow researchers believe that the also use carbon dioxide to find their way back to the colony.
The goal of Bjostad and his fellow researchers is create an alternative to the termite control products currently on the market. They are working to make a substance that releases CO2 into the soil. By doing this, they want to lure the away from houses and other structures the are devouring. Since Carbon Dioxide is produced naturally, it is a cheaper, non-toxic choice for termite control. One of the problems with current termite control methods is if the first treatment doesn't work in controlling the termites, harsher more toxic chemicals are usually implemented.
This method has a great deal of uses. The Carbon Dioxide could be used to draw the to insecticide to destroy them. Carbon Dioxide put into the ground at a slow interval could also confuse the worker termites. It could disrupt their travel back to the colony. Without the workers returning to the colony regularly, the colony can not be sustained. The workers without regular contact to the colony will die.
Frank Reece has been in the industry for 25 years. You can find his articles on www.linkmyarticles.com
Here are some more termites articles...