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Home / Health / Aggressive termites invade the Houston area and establish new colonies in the south

Aggressive termites invade the Houston area and establish new colonies in the south



This is a nest-like structure created by Formosan termites, created in 2005 from the wood they eat and their own saliva.

Courtesy of David Rae Morris

HOUSTON – Swarms of winged beetles invade the Houston neighborhoods that stretch from Fifth Ward to the suburb of Baytown, Texas.

The insects are an aggressive species called Formosan termites, and pest specialists do not know how to eradicate them all once they have established a colony in an area, say the University of Florida etymologists.

"What you see are winged individuals These are the kids Their job is reproductive," said Bryan Springer of Coastal Extermining in the suburb of La Porte, Houston. "They start new colonies, they do not expand old colonies literally new colonies. "

Although originally found in Taiwan, but probably native to southern China, this species is only one of more than 3000 termite species worldwide, a single Formosan termite species can contain several million insects to several hundred thousand beetles underground termite species that are in the United States, according to the University of Florida.

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And Formosan termites can spread up to 300 feet in the ground looking for food, meaning that When they have found your pile of wood, tree or fence, your wooden house can next be on their menu.

Since 201

6, colonies have been discovered in parts of 12 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas, according to the University of Florida's entomologists in the early 1980s, when a colony was first discovered in Hallandale, Florida.

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The Formosa termite raves about Mother's Day a few weeks each year, Springer said. The termites are often seen at dusk at dusk.

"An average termite colony of this species can eat a full two-by-four in 30 days," said Springer.

Hawkers are drawn to light and see it could be a sign of a serious problem.

"Somewhere in a few hundred feet of the house there is at least one colony of these termites, it does not mean you have them in your house, but it certainly means you have to be careful," Springer said.

Tammy Russell understood the message loud and clear.

"They are really bad, so my termite man comes in a week," Russell said.

In the meantime, it follows the orders of the experts.

"If you do not want termites in your hair, in your clothes, under your clothes, anywhere else you have to go in and cut off the lights," Russell said.

Coastal Extermination is working with Texas A & M University to research chemicals and treatments for Formosan termites. People in the Houston area whose property is formosan termites may qualify for free treatment as part of the study.

Follow Stephanie Whitfield on Twitter: @ KHOUStephanie

Formosan Termite Range [19659024] As of 2016, Formosan termites had established colonies in 10 states.

Source: Nan-Yao Su, University of Florida

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Copyright 2017 USATODAY.com


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