February 17, 2017
Termite alert! Termite alert! Termite alert! This is your friendly, neighborhood Nozzle Nolen blog reporting on dangerous new termites in South… Read More
University of Florida researchers have successfully paired two destructive termite species in the laboratory and have discovered that the species are willing to mate with each other. This could mean trouble for you and your Florida home. Here's what you need to know.
The two most destructive termites in the world are the Asian subterranean termites and the Formosan subterranean termites, costing property owners over $40 billion every year worldwide. You can count on three fingers all of the places that both of these termites can be found: Taiwan, Hawaii, and we're sorry to say, right here in the Sunshine State! That is why termite protection for homes in Florida isn't just a good idea; it's essential. But things are about to get worse. Much worse. Thomas Chouvenc, a researcher and entomologist for the University of Florida warns that we may have a super termite threat in our near future.
While Chouvenc was out collecting specimens for his termite research, he caught both of these termites in the same net. What made this a noteworthy find is that it was previously believed that Asian and Formosan termites had separate mating seasons. So, it was strange to find them swarming together. This prompted Chouvenc to bring them back to the lab. What he found there was startling, to say the least.
As it turns out, male Asian subterranean termites are highly attracted to female Formosan subterranean termites. When given the choice, the Asian males will choose the Formosan females every time. And, their offspring are much hardier and even more destructive than their parents. In fact, they are two-times more destructive!
The termites from this new hybrid species aren't just ferocious eaters, they are also prolific breeders. Research indicates that hybrid colonies can produce offspring 20 to 200 percent faster than both parent species. That is almost double the number of termites! This could mean serious trouble for Florida property owners. The last thing anyone needs is a new, faster eating, faster breeding, super termite.
It is not yet known if the new hybrids will be sterile or able to reproduce and create new colonies on their own, but, since termite colonies can live for over 20 years, hybrids being created now have plenty of time to grow and be destructive even if they aren't able to continue on as a viable new species.
If you see swarmers in or around your property, collect them with a butterfly net, put them in a baggy, and give Nozzle Nolen a call. We’d be happy to dispatch a termite control specialist to your home to take a look at those termites for you and let you know if you have a mix of species around your home.
When swarms come to your Florida property, super or non-super, it is important that your home or business is protected. You can trust the South Florida termite control team here at Nozzle Nolen. There are over 22,000 pest control companies in the United States and only 3% are qualified to be designated as QualityPro Certified. Nozzle Nolen is one of them. Don't settle for less.