The Asian Subterranean Termite
As beautiful as Florida is, for some reason, it is also a huge draw for invasive species. This makes the state a great environment in which entomologists can study invasive species and what makes them attracted to a certain area. Florida in particular is a great target because it is a tourist and commercial hub with a welcoming climate. People and goods are constantly moving through the state, and most pest species are able to adapt easily due to the positive weather.
The damage caused by these species easily runs into the hundreds of millions every year, and even though Florida is home to a disproportionate amount of invasive species, scientists believe that by understanding the behaviors and biology of these species, they will be able to reduce some of the burden they place on the state.
One of the invasive species that calls Florida home is the Asian subterranean termite. It first reached the state in the 90s, and it arrived on recreational boats from the Caribbean. However, even though it is widespread in the Caribbean, its origin is in Southeast Asia. Since invading, it slowly spread across Florida’s east coast, invading from Key West into West Palm Beach, Boca Raton and Ft. Lauderdale.
While Asian subterranean termites are very similar to their invasive cousins, the Formosan termites, they do have some unique characteristics. To start, they swarm earlier, from February to April, and they have much more rapid population growth, due to the fact that they have few natural predators. This also enables them to cause more damage in a shorter period of time.
The alates of the species, which are the sexually mature termites that develop wings and swarm in the search of a new location for a colony, are attracted to video monitors, indoor lights and porch lights. This means that they will find a way inside your home if you have opened doors and windows that are unscreened. However, since they are unlikely to find moist soil or rotten wood inside the home, they will leave the building or die.
Once an infestation does take place, the damage resulting from it can become severe in a very short period of time. This is especially true when a building is invaded by a mature colony. Homeowners will usually notice the infestation when dispersal flights start to occur, or when damage and foraging tubes start to appear.
This type of infestation is usually removed with the help of termite bait stations and liquid soil treatments within the perimeter of the infested building. The building should also be inspected annually in order to ensure that reinfestation has not occurred. There is also a high likelihood that the species will expand throughout different areas of the US that have a similar climate to Florida, a climate high in moisture and humidity. If you suspect that you have an subterranean termite infestation, contact us today and we will help you out right away.
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