New Microbes Found In Termites
Scientists have found two new microbes living in the guts of termites. The microbes have been named after fictional sci-fi monsters. Under a microscope, these microbes look a bit scary, having over 20 flagella and moving like octopi.
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Read more from Fox News:
Scientists have discovered two new species of strange-looking microbes that live in the bellies of termites, and they’ve named the creatures Cthulhu and Cthylla, an ode to H.P. Lovecraft’s pantheon of horrible monsters.
Even though Lovecraft said the mere existence of Cthulhu was beyond human comprehension, the 20th-century American sci-fi author described the ocean-dwelling creature as vaguely anthropomorphic, but with an octopus-like head, a face full of feelers, and a scaly, rubbery, bloated body with claws and narrow wings.
The microbe Cthulhu macrofasciculumque doesn’t appear quite as frightful under a microscope, but it does have a bundle of more than 20 flagella that resembles a tuft of tentacles beating in sync. Continue reading…
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Termites Make “Fairy Circles” In Namib Desert
Ringed “pockmarks” on the desert floor of South Africa are being attributed to sand termites. These circular marks show up in patterns on a stretch of the Namib Desert and can last for decades. Many other species have been suspected of creating the rings, but the latest research supports termites as the creators.
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Read more from The Huffington Post:
The “artists” behind bizarre, barren, grassless rings dotting the desert of Southwest Africa have been found lurking right at scientists’ feet: termites.
Known as fairy circles, these patches crop up in regular patterns along a narrow strip of the Namib Desert between mid-Angola and northwestern South Africa, and can persist for decades. The cause of these desert pockmarks has been widely debated, but a species of sand termite, Psammotermes allocerus, could be behind the mysterious dirt rings, suggests a study published today (March 28) in the journal Science.
Scientists have offered many ideas about the circles’ origin, ranging from “self-organizing vegetation dynamics” to carnivorous ants. Termites have been proposed before, but there wasn’t much evidence to support that theory. Continue reading…
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Woman Guilty Of Selling Termite-infested House
After two years of civil suits, the attorney who sold her termite-infested home to a military family has been ordered to pay $68,000 in fines. The buyers of the home say the only items left in the house when they looked at and purchased it were things that were strategically hiding extensive termite damage. The charges against the woman are fraudulent misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment and fraudulent disclosure.
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Read more from The Dayton Daily News:
Dayton-area attorney Anne C. Harvey was ordered by a Montgomery County Common Pleas Court to pay more than $68,000 for fraudulent conduct related to her selling her termite-damaged Kettering home to a young military family in 2011.
A civil jury in visiting Judge James W. Luse’s courtroom unanimously found Harvey committed fraudulent misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment and fraudulent disclosure regarding termite damage when Harvey and her mother, Billie Harvey, sold the house to Andrew and Sarah Seitz.
Sarah Seitz, who said she’s a disabled veteran whose husband is still in the Air Force, testified that the only items left in the Kettering home when they saw it were a couch in a living room, a spare tile in one bedroom closet and some window coverings on the floor of another bedroom closet. All were found to be concealing massive termite damage, which extended through some walls and much of the sub-flooring. Continue reading…
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Mild Winter Means Termites
Due to the mild winter in Charlottesville, experts are expecting a busy termite season. Calls have already been heavy for pest control companies. Without the ground freezing, termites are already close the surface and are making their move early.
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Read more from a local NBC News affiliate:
Some ugly little buggers can do a frightening amount of damage to your home. Experts say this season is a bad one for termites because of the mild winter.
Gary Shifflett and his crew from Blue Ridge Termite and Pest Management Group have been on more inspections this past month than the entire spring 2012 season. Because the ground didn’t freeze very much, the little pests are closer to the surface.
“This is the time of year, with the snow that we had, the moisture content in the ground, it’s just pushing these swarmers, pushing them to the top,” Shifflett said.
Termites may be tiny, but they can do huge damage to your home. Homeowner Bill Bridge says he would rather pay for proactive treatments than a pest problem later. Continue reading…
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