America Is Not Like Other Regions Of The World When It Comes To Termite Damage
The economic costs of termite damage within the United States is increasing dramatically with each passing year. Every year six hundred thousand homes in the United States fall victim to termite damage. The annual economic cost of termite damage equals five billion dollars, and this figure only includes termite damage within the US. Two million American homes undergo termite treatments every year. However, America is certainly not the only region of the world that sees extensive and costly termite-related property damage.
One of the most destructive termite species in America is not even native to North America; instead this particular species originates from Asia. This termite is known as the Formosan subterranean termite. Luckily, this devastating invasive species of termite does not inhabit all of America, as the climate in the US limits its habitat to the southeast. Formosan termites are far more destructive than the most common property-destroying termites native to the US, which are eastern subterranean termites. Termite damage in America may be considered common, but in Asia, the voracious Formosan subterranean termite is the most common of all termite pests.
Both drywood and subterranean termites are responsible for eighty to ninety percent of termite damage worldwide. The subterranean termite belongs to the Rhinotermitidae family, which includes Formosan and eastern subterranean termites. Although Americans are no strangers to termites, termite diversity within North America is relatively low. Currently, less than fifty different termite species are recognized in North America. Compare that number to Asia’s four hundred and thirty five different termite species, and you will gain some perspective. However, Asia’s termite populations are nowhere near as great as Africa’s.
Africa is home to more than one thousand different termite species. Africa is a large continent that contains multiple types of ecosystems. This is why Africa is home to such a large variety of different termite species. Most of Africa’s termites dwell within the uninhabited desert, savannah and forest regions. There is also a termite presence within urban African cities. Unfortunately, Africa is home to many crop-damaging termites as well. Maybe America’s termite problems are small potatoes in comparison with other regions of the world.
Have you ever traveled to another country and noticed a cultural difference in the way termites are viewed?