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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

2010 Annual Report

1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Develop guidance for the public communication component of termite integrated pest management by quantitative evaluation of impact from education, communication, urban planning, and building codes.

1b.Approach (from AD-416)
A) Audubon Nature Institute will continue to deliver invasive subterranean termite educational programming free to school groups. Quantitative and statistical evaluations to measure the program success will be done through the following: (1) Pre and post testing of select classes to measure termite knowledge increased; (2) Termite informational pamphlets sent home to adult caregivers will have a coded discount coupon redeemable at the Audubon Insectarium. Adults will be encouraged to seek further knowledge about Formosan subterranean termites at the Operation Full Stop Exhibit in the Audubon Insectarium. All redeemed coupons will be tallied and data compiled to assess the amount of adults directly reached through presentations to school children; and (3) Teacher focus groups will be conducted at the Audubon Zoo to evaluate the educational components of the termite presentation.

B) Audubon Nature Institute will increase the amount of adult invasive termite presentations to Homeowners Associations, Community Centers and Churches and informational brochures and pamphlets will distribute.

C) Extensive, thorough training will be given to all Audubon Insectarium volunteers on the history, biology, prevention and treatment of Formosan subterranean termites. This training will be especially in-depth for volunteers who will staff the FST interaction station, located immediately after the Operation Full Stop termite exhibit at the Audubon Insectarium. We anticipate that FST volunteers will be the first representative encountered after the termite exhibit and that they will be asked many questions. We will also provide Operation Full Stop brochures in the exhibit.

3.Progress Report

During the 2009-2010 reporting year, Bugmobile Termite Outreach was presented to 31,838 individuals, 46% of whom were underserved students; visits were in 13 LA parishes, MS, and AL. These presentations, based on age groups and National Science Standards, continue to emphasize the history, biology, treatment options, recent scientific advances, and preventative measures that residents can take against the Formosan Subterranean Termite (FST) through use of live insects, lectures and PowerPoint presentations. 10,000 books with age-appropriate activities and Formosan subterranean termite information pamphlets were purchased and distributed over the past year. Teacher evaluations are available on our recently redesigned website; they continue to rate 5 (on a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being outstanding) with extremely positive comments. In July, our website will link to a webpage dedicated to Operation Full Stop with updates, Formosan subterranean termite information and the ability to reserve Bugmobile presentations for anyone in the general public, including homeowner groups and organizations. FST Gallery: Audubon Insectarium has now been open two years. The FST gallery, titled “The Second Battle for New Orleans,” is the only gallery focused exclusively on 1 species. The exhibit plays a pivotal role in Operation Full Stop’s (OFS) educational outreach program because it cleverly packages information into 5 themed areas: intro to OFS; basic termite biology; damage; research; and control efforts. Guests are presented an OFS brochure as they exit as a reference to review at home. The FST gallery includes videos, interactive exhibits, static displays, and live termites. Nearly 25,000 termites are purchased monthly from Louisiana Biological Products using United States Department of Agriculture's grant money to keep the exhibit filled. Five to 10 hours a week are spent caring for the termites and exhibit. This includes cutting new skylines out of balsawood, cutting wood pieces to the right display size and cleaning out the inside of the exhibits. Nile blue dye, a potentially dangerous chemical needing extra preparation time and equipment (respirators, goggles, gloves), was recently purchased to ensure dyed termites are back on exhibit. Current maintenance and improvements needed include replacement of the broken bait station, internal repairs to the focus of the Wentzscope, rework the cable system of the wood block weight comparison, and implementing a static display for the Native Relics and Formosan comparison. Progress in this project is monitored through Annual FST Technical Committee Meetings, reports, regular meetings with cooperators, routine phone calls, and e-mail correspondence.

Last Modified: 8/28/2016
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