Which Termite Species Are Most Widespread In Louisiana, And Which Species Is Becoming Increasingly Problematic In The State? - J & J Exterminating
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Which Termite Species Are Most Widespread In Louisiana, And Which Species Is Becoming Increasingly Problematic In The State?

A total of nine termite species have been documented as inhabiting Louisiana, and they include five subterranean termites and four drywood termites. The subterranean termite species that can be found throughout the entire state of Louisiana include Formosan, eastern, dark southern and light southern subterranean termites. The midwestern subterranean termite has only been found around Lake Charles and is not considered common in the state.

The drywood termite species that can be found in all areas of Louisiana include southeastern and dark southern drywood termites, while the invasive West Indian powderpost termite is only found occasionally in New Orleans and other southern locations. The fourth drywood termite species in Louisiana, the western drywood termite, is native to the southwest desert regions of the US, but they were introduced into New Orleans several years ago. Since then, western drywood termite infestations have been growing more common in homes located in cities and towns all over the state.

Considering the tremendous amount of property damage that the invasive Formosan subterranean termite has caused in New Orleans and elsewhere in Louisiana, pest control professionals and entomologists do not want to see another non-native termite species establish an invasive habitat throughout the state. Luckily, the invasive West Indian powderpost termite is only able to infest finished wood items, like structural wood and furniture, and their colonies can only survive in the hot and humid southernmost areas of Louisiana. Also, this species’ need for highly moist wood makes infestations rare in homes and buildings in the state.

The western drywood termite species, on the other hand, is a pest of increasing concern throughout Louisiana, as these termites can survive a variety of conditions ranging from hot and exceptionally dry desert habitats to warm and humid subtropical habitats. Unlike West Indian powderpost termites, western drywood termites infest both structural and natural wood sources, which allows these termites to spread to new areas easily. For example, some researchers believe that the western drywood termite first arrived in Florida from infested trees taken from New Orleans. Western drywood termites are also able to infest a variety of structural wood types that have a low moisture content, making these termite pests a threat to all timber-framed structures in Louisiana.

Were you aware that three non-native termite species inhabit Louisiana?

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