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Drywood termites thrive in warm environments, and human activities can enable them to invade homes since they can be transported through contaminated goods, containers and ships.199 Colonies of termites have been seen thriving in warm buildings situated in chilly regions.203 Some termites are considered invasive species. Cryptotermes brevis, the most frequently introduced invasive termite species in the entire world, has been introduced into all the islands in the West Indies and to Australia.37199.
In addition to causing damage to buildings, termites can also harm food crops.204 Termites can attack trees whose resistance to harm is reduced but generally ignore fast-growing plants. Most attacks occur at harvest time; plants and trees are attacked during the dry season.204
The harm caused by termites costs the southwestern United States roughly $1.5 billion each year in timber structure damage, but the real cost of damage worldwide cannot be determined.199205 Drywood termites are responsible for a large proportion of the harm caused by termites.206 The goal of termite control is to maintain structures and vulnerable ornamental plants free from termites.207; Structures could be houses or business, or elements such as wooden fence posts and telephone poles.
Termite monitors made of wood or cellulose adjacent to a structure may also give indication of termite foraging activity where it will be in conflict with humans. .
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To better control the population of termites, various techniques have been designed to track termite movements.205 One ancient method involved distributing termite bait laced with immunoglobulin G (IgG) markers proteins in rabbits or chickens. Termites collected from the field could be tested for the rabbit-IgG markers using a rabbit-IgG-specific assay.
Termites bearing these proteins can be traced using a protein-specific ELISA evaluation.205.
These flying alates were accumulated as they came out of their nests in the ground during the first days of the rainy season.
43 termite species are used as food by humans or are fed to cows.208 These insects are particularly important in less developed countries where malnutrition is common, since the protein from termites can help improve the human diet. Termites are consumed in many regions globally, but this practice has only become popular in developed nations in recent years.208.
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Termites are consumed by people in many different cultures around the world. In Africa, the alates are an important element in the diets of native populations.209 Tribes have different means of collecting or cultivating insects; occasionally tribes collect soldiers out of several species. Though harder to get, queens are regarded as a delicacy.210 Termite alates are high in nutrition with sufficient levels of fat and protein.
Alates are accumulated when the rainy season begins. During a nuptial flightthey are generally seen around lights on which they're drawn, and so nets are put up on lamps and captured alates are later collected. The wings are eliminated via a technique that's similar to winnowing. The best result comes when they are lightly roasted on a hot plate fried until crisp.
Termites are generally eaten when livestock is lean and Japanese crops have not yet developed or generated any meals, or if food stocks from an earlier growing season are restricted.209.
In addition to Africa, termites are consumed in local or tribal areas in Asia and North and South America. In Australia, Indigenous Australians are aware that termites are edible but do not consume them even in times of scarcity; there aren't many explanations as to why.209210 Termite mounds are the main resources of soil consumption (geophagy) in many countries including Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.211212213214 Researchers have indicated that termites are suitable candidates for human consumption and space agriculture, since they are high in protein and can be used to convert inedible waste to consumable products for the original source humans.215.
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Scientists have developed a less expensive way of tracing the movement of termites using traceable proteins.205
Termites can be major agricultural pests, especially in East Africa and North Asia, where harvest losses can be acute (3100 percent in crop loss in Africa).216 Counterbalancing that is the considerably improved water infiltration where termite tunnels in the dirt allow rainwater to soak in deeply, which helps decrease runoff and consequent soil erosion through bioturbation.217 In South America, cultivated plants like lavender, upland rice and sugarcane can be severely damaged by termite infestations, with attacks on leaves, roots and woody tissue.
Termites and ants can re-colonise untilled land that contains crop stubble, which colonies utilize for nourishment when they set their nests. The presence of nests in fields enables bigger amounts of rainwater to soak into the ground and increases the amount of nitrogen in the soil, both essential for the development of plants.218.