The Damaging Subterranean Termite In America That Nobody Has Heard Of
Subterranean termites are much harder to control than dampwood and drywood termites, and the reasons for this are obvious. First of all, subterranean termites spend much of their time foraging beneath the ground where they can operate unseen. Subterranean termites can also inhabit areas as large as a football field within the soil that lies beneath the ground’s surface. This makes it hard to determine the range of a particular subterranean termite infestation. As you can understand, applying insecticides to soil is the most effective method for controlling termite populations. It is common knowledge that the eastern subterranean termite species cause the greatest degree of damage to structures in America when compared to all other termite species dwelling in North America. There is also a western subterranean termite species, but the damage they cause does not compare to the damage caused by eastern subterranean termites. When it comes to invasive subterranean termites in America, most people think of the notorious Formosan subterranean termite species. However, there is another invasive subterranean termite species in America that very few people are familiar with despite the widespread property damages that these little-known termites have caused in the past. This species is known as the West Indian subterranean termite. This species is often confused with the West Indian drywood termite species.
The West Indian subterranean termite is officially referred to as Heterotermes caribeus. There exist several Heterotermes species in the West Indies. However, there does exist some taxonomic confusion concerning Heterotermes species. Due to vague scientific descriptions, poor museum specimens and a lack of diagnostic features, Heterotermes species are difficult to differentiate. In fact, very few scientific articles concerning Heterotermes caribeus exist. There is one Heterotermes species that has long been documented as dwelling in America. This termite species dwells in desert regions and is known as Heterotermes Aureus.
In 1995 a new Heterotermes species was discovered in southern Florida. This was the first Heterotermes species to be found outside of the western US. It is clear that this new species arrived in Florida from the West Indies. This species is highly destructive to timber-framed structures, but infestations are currently limited due to their relatively recent arrival in the US. Unfortunately, researchers believe that the damage caused by these invasive termites will only increase in the coming decades as their population grows. Luckily, due to climatic conditions, Heterotermes caribeus will likely never migrate beyond the state of Florida.
Do you think that the Heterotermes caribeus species will eventually migrate northward as the planet gradually warms as a result of climate change?Tags: Termites