The latest weapon in the war on termites — a toxic bait that's tasty to termites — has been patented by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists. This means that the low-dose termiticide is a step closer to reaching homeowners and others trying to put a stop to the wood-eating pest. Formosan subterranean termites alone cost Americans about $1 billion every year in control and repair costs.

The new termiticide contains low concentrations of naphthalenic compounds similar to those used in mothballs. Researchers with USDA's Agricultural Research Service and Forest Service have found that, even at low doses, the termiticide helps control native Eastern subterranean termites, in addition to the more notorious Formosan subterranean termite.