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Formosan Termites Headed This Way

By: Toni Harrison
By: Toni Harrison

Hurricane clean-up crews on the Gulf Coast could be hauling away more than debris, they may also be inadvertently giving a lift to a very unwelcome guest.

Texas A&M entomologist Roger Gold studies termites, he says Formosan termites could be coming to the Brazos Valley via hurricane scrap wood.

Formosan termites cause the same type of damage as other termites, just a lot faster.

"Formosan termites do approximately four times more damage per unit of time," said Roger Gold, urban entomologist, Texas A&M University.

Gold says it's just a matter of time before these hungry little critters hit our area.

"The Formosan termite is found in counties that surround us and we will have the Formosan termite move into our community. It's either here or will be here eventually," said Gold.

Gold say's railroad ties are a source for spreading Formosan termites. Homeowners will often take the wood to landscape their yards, from their the termites can spread into the home.

"We don't bring wooden products onto our properties and use them unless they've been inspected or fumigated," said Gold.

A lot of hurricane debris is being chopped up and turned into mulch. Unfortunately, Formosan termites love to munch on mulch.

"In the recent past, (we) found a very expensive home that's infested with Formosan termites that came from the bags of mulch," said Gold.

Formosan termites can be found in 26 Texas counties, but that number is expected to increase. Gold says the best way to protect your home from Formosan termites is to make sure all wood used in and around the house has been treated for the pests.


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