How The Formosan Subterranean Termite Caused A Lasting Economic Catastrophe That Is Still Being Felt In New Orleans Today

Termites are one of the most economically significant group of insect pests in the United States where they inflict billions of dollars in property damage annually. The negative economic impact of termite infestations is not just felt by owners of infested homes. For example, destructive termite infestations have a negative financial effect on home-builders, real estate agents, bankers, mortgage companies, and home insurance companies.

Unsurprisingly, the widespread emergence of Formosan subterranean termites during the 1980s and 1990s in New Orleans triggered an economic crisis that still affects the city to this day. Also, Formosan termites are no longer limited to the southern coast of Louisiana, as pest control companies frequently encounter the pests in homes throughout the state.

Formosan termites cost taxpayers in Louisiana hundreds of millions of dollars annually due to the destruction that the pests inflict on infrastructure in the state. The termite pests eat away at creosote-treated railroad ties, telephone poles, underground cables, electric power lines and telephone lines, PVC pipes, and 90 percent of an old creosote-treated wooden saltwater dam in Lake Charles had to be replaced due to extensive Formosan termite damage.

Shortly after Formosan termites established a heavy presence in New Orleans, structural damage inflicted by the pests caused a house in the city to literally split in two, and a 17 year old apartment complex had to be demolished as a result of sustaining extensive Formosan termite damage. Several homes in New Orleans have been demolished due to Formosan termite infestations, resulting in loan defaults and an inability to secure additional loans for damage repairs.

Sadly, this is still occurring today in the city, as a 2016 house collapse in New Orleans was blamed on a long lasting Formosan termite infestation, and one year later, the destructive insect pests caused a building in Algiers to collapse. In order to prevent these abundant termite pests from infesting homes, annual property inspections and the application of termiticide barriers is necessary.

Have you had your home inspected for termites lately?



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