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They range from less than 1 cm to several cm in width, but may extend dozens of metres in length.198.
Owing to their wood-eating habits, many termite species can do significant damage to unprotected buildings and other wooden constructions.199 Termites play an important role as decomposers of wood and vegetative material, and the conflict with humans happens where structures and landscapes containing structural timber components, cellulose derived structural materials and ornamental vegetation provide termites with a reliable supply of food and moisture.200;Their custom of remaining concealed often results in their presence being undetected until the timbers are severely damaged, leaving a thin coating of a wall which protects them in the environment.201 Of the 3,106 species known, only 183 species cause damage; 83 species cause significant damage to wooden structures.199 In North America, 18 subterranean species are pests202; in Australia, 16 species have an economic impact; in the Indian subcontinent 26 species are considered pests, and in tropical Africa, 24.
Dampwood termites only attack timber substance vulnerable to rainfall or soil.199.
Drywood termites thrive in hot climates, and human activities can enable them to invade houses since they can be transported through contaminated goods, containers and boats.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 world, has been introduced into all the islands in the West Indies and also to Australia.37199.
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In addition to causing damage to buildings, termites can also harm food plants.204 Termites may attack trees whose resistance to damage is reduced but generally ignore fast-growing plants. Most strikes occur at harvest time; crops and trees are attacked during the rainy season.204
The harm caused by termites prices the southwestern United States roughly $1.5 billion every year in wood construction harm, but the true cost of damage worldwide cannot be determined.199205 Drywood termites are responsible for a huge 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 homes or business, or elements such as wooden fence posts and telephone poles.
Termite monitors made from wood or cellulose adjacent to a construction may also provide indication of termite foraging activity where it will be in conflict with humans. .
To better control the population of termites, various methods have been click for info developed to monitor lymph movements.205 One early method involved distributing termite bait laced with immunoglobulin G (IgG) markers proteins in rabbits or chickens. Termites collected from the field could be analyzed for the rabbit-IgG markers using a rabbit-IgG-specific assay.
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Termites bearing these proteins can be traced using a protein-specific ELISA test.205.
These flying alates were collected as they came from the 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, as the protein out of termites can help improve the human diet. Termites are consumed in many regions worldwide, 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 globe. In Africa, the alates are an important element in the diets of native populations.209 Tribes have different ways of collecting or cultivating insects; sometimes tribes collect soldiers from several species. Though harder to acquire, queens are considered as a delicacy.210 Termite alates are high in nutrition with sufficient levels of fat and protein.
Termites are typically eaten when livestock is lean and tribal crops have not yet developed or generated any food, or if food stocks from a previous growing season are limited.209.
In addition to Africa, termites are consumed in local or tribal regions in Asia and North and South America. In Australia, Indigenous Australians know 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 land consumption (geophagy) in many countries including Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.211212213214 Researchers have suggested that termites are suitable candidates for human consumption and distance agriculture, since they are high in protein and can be utilized to convert inedible waste into consumable products for humans.215.