© Victor R. Caivano/AP Formosan termites swarm over a glass counter in a University of Florida entomology lab in March 1998.
If you've ever had to battle the tenacious termite, sweet revenge may be near.
A substance derived from glucose has been shown to weaken the insects' immune systems, making them vulnerable to infections from lethal microbes, a new study says.
The findings could give rise to a whole new class of safer pest-control treatments, the authors say.
"We wanted something environmentally friendly, biodegradable, and [that] does not play a toxic role," said study co-author Ram Sasisekharan, a biological engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.