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Hurricane Irma Brought Termites Into One Of Florida’s Oldest Historical Homes

September 17th, 2018

Florida may be a popular vacation spot due to its tropical climate and picturesque beaches, but the state is also well known for its high termite population. Among the 21 different termite species that are established in the state, six are invasive. No other state contains a greater number of invasive termites than Florida. In addition to these established termites, researchers are worried that a new type of hybrid termite pest could become a problem, as Asian and Formosan subterranean termite species indulge in simultaneous mating flights. Experts believe that half of all Florida homes will become vulnerable to termite attacks within the next twenty years. Given this high degree of termite activity, it should not come as a surprise to learn that Florida’s termite species can wreak havoc on the state’s many historical structures. Termites have taken down some of Florida’s longest standing homes and buildings, and now, the Historic Lord Nigel House is under serious attack from the destructive insects.

The Lord Nigel House is the second oldest structure in Sarasota County. The house was constructed in the city of Venice back in 1896 by entrepreneur Joseph Lord. In 2005, Venice Heritage Incorporated took ownership of the house in order to raise the necessary funds to keep the historical structure standing. Since then, volunteers with the heritage society gathered over 300,000 dollars worth of donations that will be used to renovate the aging house. This money has already paid for thousands of hours of professional restoration efforts. Despite these efforts, termites have managed to reverse many of the home’s recent improvements. In fact, additional funds are now needed in order to rid the house of its unwanted termite inhabitants.

As soon as the necessary restoration projects are completed, the house’s first floor will be converted into an early settler museum. At the moment, the house is covered with an enormous black tarp so that fumigants can be released into the structure. Experts believe that last year’s Hurricane Irma carried termites into the beloved historical landmark. Once the fumigation is complete, officials plan on installing termite barriers around the house in order to prevent further termite attacks.

Do you believe that the number of  termite damaged homes in Florida will increase in the coming years?

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