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Su, one of the world’s leading experts on termites, developed systems to rescue New Orleans’ French Quarter and the Statute of Liberty from termite infestations.

Published: June 24th, 2008

Category: Spotlights

Nan-Yao Su

Nan-Yao Su

Professor of Entomology
Food and Agricultural Sciences

Recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on termites – including the highly aggressive Formosan “super termite” now spreading throughout the Southeast – Nan-Yao Su helped develop the Sentricon Termite Colony Elimination System marketed worldwide by Dow AgroSciences.

Su, based at UF’s Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, is frequently called upon by the National Park Service to rescue properties from termite infestations. In 1994, when the museum at the Statute of Liberty was so infested with termites that the park service had to close the area to the public, Su used his underground baiting system to eliminate the pest.

When every known control measure failed to stop Formosan termites at the Presbytere and Cabildo in New Orleans’ French Quarter, the park service relied on Su’s baiting system to stop the damage. And, when termites attacked the Christiansted National Historic Site in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, Su installed his baiting system to save the 250-year-old Danish fort. He also has used the system at other sites, including the San Juan Historical Landmark in Puerto Rico and the Kingsley Plantation near Jacksonville. He is currently working with the government of Chile and private organizations to control termite infestations in Santiago and nearby areas.

Su’s honors include the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Distinguished Service Award for his breakthrough technology, described as “the most important advance in termite control in more than 50 years.”

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