Termites eat into village, locals flee – Times of India

Posted: August 28, 2017 at 5:44 am

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For half a century, a remote village in Almora, Uttarakhand, has been battling a termite infestation so fierce it has driven several families away their homes, while saddling others with renovation expenses and collapsing furniture.

When TOI visited Lambadi, the decay was apparent. Many houses had sagging roofs and termite frass in abundance as the insects munched away at the furniture. Pointing to the main door of her house, Pushpa Devi, a resident, said, “They (termites) have destroyed everything. Look at our doors and windows. No one buys new furniture here since the insects will quickly ruin that too.”

Pushpa’s neighbour Sarla added, “While children in other villages grew up fearing wild animals, our grandparents told us tales of insects that ate everything and just wouldn’t go away.”

According to experts, deforestation and the use of certain types of wood to construct houses may have rendered the village susceptible to termite infestation. However, they say it is a peculiar, unique phenomenon that requires detailed study.CS Negi, a professor at Kumaun University and a senior entomologist, said, “Since termites depend on dead wood, one needs to examine whether large-scale deforestation has taken place in the recent past in the region… This could have created favourable conditions for termites.”

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Termites eat into village, locals flee – Times of India

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