Super Termites Threaten Florida

Archetypical stories of good vs evil and timeless rivalries have always existed throughout history. From Greek mythology stories of Perseus vs Medusa to popular culture with rivalries such as Batman and the Joker, these narratives are everywhere.

termite workersAt Rentokil we feel our expert solutions for termite prevention in homes around the globe reflects these narratives. However the recent news of a super breed of termites rising in Florida means that our old nemesis has just gotten become a little bit stronger.

What seems like a stereotypical narrative arc from a comic book series, two of the most destructive species of termites have started crossbreeding in Florida, causing a major issue in terms of home safety in the southeast of America.

Super Termites Origin

This super breed of termite creeping its head in Florida is the offspring of the Formosan Subterranean termite and the Asian Subterranean termite.

Formosan Subterranean Termite

  • A single colony may contain several million individuals.
  • A mature formosan colony can consume up to 400g of wood per day.
  • Can severely damage a structure in as little as three months.

Asian Subterranean Termite

  • The foraging population of an average colony can be between 1.13 and 2.75 million.
  • Haven been known to consume fabric as well as wood and cardboard.
  • Drill holes in rubber, plastic, and styrofoam in search for food.

Although these two species have existed in Florida for a while, they have never swarmed simultaneously, until now. With both species flight season overlapping, the termites have started to mingle, and it seems that the Asian Subterranean termites have taken a fancy to the female Formosan termites.

The Dangers

What this partnership between the two species has created is a hybrid breed of termite which reproduces twice as fast as their ancestors. This exceptionally fast breeding rate, along with their ferocious hunger, drastically outweighs that of their purebred predecessors. This has generated a large debate amongst termite experts into the damage these super termites can create to residential areas in Florida.

In China and Japan the common name for the Formosan Subterranean termite is a “house termite”. This is due to their ability to bring a house to the ground by gnawing their way through the foundations.

Termite colonies can live up to 20 years in South Florida where the humid temperature provides a suitable habitat. Even if these super termites do not produce fertile winged termites (winged termites leave the nest to reproduce and start a new colony), they still have the potential to cause excessive damage to a property over a long period of time.

Protection Against Super Termites

With the possibility of the super termites causing havoc to a property, now is a good time to make sure you’re protected. There is a wide range of different termite protection treatments available, depending on your location, from baiting and monitoring to chemical and physical barriers. If you’re looking to protect your property against termites get in touch with your local pest control experts.