Scholar analysis membership takes on termites at Bragg – The Famuan

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Bragg Memorial Stadium. Photo courtesy of famuathletics.com

Florida A & M.The Bragg Memorial Stadium could be badly damaged Formosan Termites. A The student research club is credited with discovering the termites, and its efforts may prevent further damage to the aging stadium.

The club is part of Teaching Our Youths Science, an outreach organization on campus. It started four years ago to provide research opportunities to students who need research for a medical degree or college.

Since 2017, STEM students at FAMU have been working with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) to conduct research on this invasive species.

The current president of the meeting club, Nyasia Haynes, sees the group as a path to wider horizons.

“This research club provides opportunities for STEM majors that may need to enter medical school or seek higher education,” she said.

Former President L’Ariel Wilson also credits the termite study with a boost where it wants to be.

“The termite club gave me the opportunity to demonstrate my leadership skills, and it was a perfect fit

Club President Nyasia Haynes. Photo courtesy Nyasia Haynes

My major because I was able to gain biological research experience that I can now use in my professional career, ”she said.

To collect data on the termites, traps are set in Tallahassee, including on the FAMU campus during the large swarming season, which is May and June. The traps are collected weekly to determine the peak swarm weeks and are correlated to the local weather for that week.

Haynes provided further details on how the traps are set and what they do with them.

“The trap is on that long red stick and has this sticky stuff to catch the termite. This type of termite is attracted to light, so it is basically placed on a street lamp pole and collected weekly to see if there was a swarm and what type of weather was occurring during the swarm, “she said.

According to the FDACS Formosan Termite Alate Trapping Report for Leon County data from 2017 to 2019, 4 of the 10 traps tested positive for Formosan Termite Alates.

Haynes recalls some of the data she and her club gathered from a report in 2019.

“Last year there was a big swarm on the week of May 29th, the temperature was about 91 degrees, the humidity was about 90, the wind speed was about 10 miles per hour, and the air pressure was about 29.95 and there wasn’t any really no rain, ”she said.

In 2019, the Formosan termite was confirmed at the Bragg Memorial Stadium. This species is a threat to the FAMU premises.

According to Pest World, formosan termites, often referred to as “super termites,” are the most voracious, aggressive, and devious of more than 2,000 species of termites known to science that chew through wood, floors, and even wallpaper undetected. The damage this species could wreak on campus could be devastating, costing tens of thousands of dollars to repair.

Haynes sees the data as positive to take preventative measures to maintain the integrity of the FAMU infrastructures.

“This kind of thing is important because we have wooden structures on campus and it has been known that Formosan damage treatment is very costly, if any treatment is available,” she said.