The Formosan subterranean termite is not the only exotic termite species that has established a non-native habitat within Louisiana. In fact, nearly half of the termite pest species known to inhabit Louisiana today were not found in the state during most of the last century. It is well known that the Formosan subterranean termite has become the most common and most destructive termite species within Louisiana, but when considering the entire US, and even the rest of the southeast, several species belonging to the native Reticulitermes family are by far the most damaging termite pests to structures.
The most recent non-native termite species that has established a habitat in Louisiana is the Reticulitermes tibialis species. This termite pest species is more commonly referred to as the “midwestern subterranean termite” and they were found near Lake Charles. This species’ habitat in the state is limited to certain areas of the southwest, and they are not yet considered common.
Another species, C. brevis, or the “west Indian powderpost drywood termite,” is an exotic species in Louisiana that has been accidentally transported into the state within lumber, furniture and plant matter shipments numerous times during the past two decades. In addition to infesting structural wood, C. brevis is also commonly found infesting furniture within homes all over the state. This species originates from the Carribean islands where they are the dominant termite pests.
The I. minor species, better known as the “western drywood termite,” is native to the southwestern Sonoran Desert where they cause consider property damage. These termites are often found infesting structural wood, furniture and dead trees within New Orleans and other cities in the state. In addition R. tibialis, three other Reticulitermes species can be found in Louisiana, and the habitat of all three of these species overlap within the state, particularly in the south. These species include R. virginicus, R. hageni, and the R. flavipes species, which is the most widely distributed and economically costly termite species in the United States. In all, nine termite pest species have been documented in Louisiana.
Were you aware that nine termite pest species inhabit Louisiana?
Tags: Termite Control, Termite Inspection, Termites