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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BIOLOGY AND CONTROL OF THE FORMOSAN SUBTERRANEAN TERMITE
2009 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

The Bugmobile-Termite Outreach was presented to 39,399 individuals, this was a 40% increase from last year, 70% of Bugmobile visits were to underserved students; visits included 13 LA parishes, MS, and AL. These presentations continue to emphasize the history, biology, treatment options, recent scientific advances, and preventative measures that residents can take against the Formosan subterranean termite (FST). Post-hurricane presentations include emphasis on rebuilding homes using termite preventative measures. School children still receive an age-appropriate termite activity booklet or FST information pamphlet. Increase education outreach to homeowner groups efforts led to a total of 78 letters sent to area homeowner associations & 9 adult termite presentations were given to homeowner associations in Jefferson/Orleans parishes. A teacher focus group was held and all information and ideas derived from the focus group are being developed into lesson plans and marketing of Bugmobile for the 2009-10 school year. FST Gallery: Audubon opened its 10th facility, Audubon Insectarium, in Jun 08. The Insectarium features 13 highly interactive gallery rooms containing more than 70 live animal enclosures, over 30 mounted specimen displays, and a multisensory immersive theater experience. The Insectarium was the 1st major new attraction to open since Hurricane Katrina. 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. Exhibit graphics are updated prior to opening with new details on liquid termiticides and grooming behavior. Audubon dedicated the gallery in honor of the USDA at a Jan 09 ceremony. The gallery was a major highlight of receptions honoring the Nat'l Pest Management Association board in June 08, the Nat'l Association of State Legislators in Jul 08, and the New Orleans Pest Control Association in Feb 09, the gallery was found to be informative for consumers and professionals. Audubon Insectarium received national acclaim in its 1st year of operation. The New York Times, NBC Nightly News, USA Today, and Forbes.com visited the Insectarium, calling positive attention to New Orleans. The Themed Entertainment Association awarded the Insectarium an award for outstanding achievement, and CNN.com included the facility among 5 museums that parents and kids will enjoy. The Insectarium has achieved great popularity from its inception when it welcomed 50,000 visitors in its 1st month. As the museum approached its 1st “Ant-iversary,” approximately 250,000 people visited. 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: 4/19/2014
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