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Asian Termites Killing Splash Pines

May 17, 2018

Apparently, there’s no limit to how destructive the invasive Asian termites are. There has been a recent phenomenon regarding the new feeding sites for these termites. Asian termites are creating a very disparaging problem, as they have been increasing their activity in hollowing out the Splash Pines of South Florida.

asian termite on gray background

Splash pines are gems here in the surrounding cities of South Florida. Asian termites have caused destructive damage to homes for over 20 years, and now are causing life-threating damage to these splash pines.

According to a recent study done by the University of Florida, 12% of a sampled 400 splash pines have been killed by these Asian termites over the last 5 years. Also found in the study, 46% of residential trees were infested with Asian subterranean termites. Researchers show that these trees have 12 to 13 years’ worth of damage, but the destructiveness is increasing. 

These termites like to feed on other residential trees, like oak trees. Even though they don’t kill these trees, the termites hollow them out and make them weak. And when a storm comes around, they don’t stand a chance.

Splash pines are known for their hardwood and stability. These termites cannot eat the sappy insides of the tree, which also contains more dead material. They will start from the outside, eating through the live layers. Once they’ve made their way through these live layers, they will have blocked the tubes that carry the sugar and nutrients throughout the tree. They feed on the tree, but starve the tree during the process, ultimately killing it in the end.

We’re likely to see more increased activity and find Asian subterranean termites infesting these trees in Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach County, and Broward County.

There are still many questions unanswered, but researchers do know that it is something that needs critical attention. It is also not a situation in which individuals can solve alone. The best thing to do is to protect your home and residential trees with a pest control professional. A solution to this specific problem will take community involvement and area-wide management. 

Take the first step toward taking your community back by contacting the experts here at Nozzle Nolen!


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