Formosan subterranean termites are not new to the state of Louisiana. Residents of Louisiana have been forced to tolerate these invasive termites for six decades now. Several studies have confirmed these termites as being one of the, if not the most, destructive termite species on the planet. Experts have claimed that Formosan termites are capable of causing structural damages at a rate that is five times more rapid than the damages caused by other subterranean termite species. The numerous victims of Formosan termite infestations in Louisiana would certainly back this claim up with their own personal experiences. Although Formosan subterranean termites have been known to exist within the continental United States ever since the 1960s, researchers have only recently learned that these termites can also cause serious damage to sugarcane crops within the US.
In America, termites are generally known for causing structural damages to people’s homes, but in many other regions around the world, termites are also known to be crop pests. Since termites prefer tropical conditions, they have developed a liking for crops that grow within tropical and subtropical areas, namely sugarcane crops. Termites destroy sugarcane in just about every region of the globe where sugarcane grows. In some regions, termites are considered the primary pests of sugarcane crops. Formosan termites have been known to destroy sugarcane crops in Hawaii, China, the Caribbean, Fiji and many more regions. Only a small few isolated infestations of native subterranean termites have been found in Louisiana’s sugarcane crops, but not nearly enough to have caused alarm. However, during August of 2017, an entomologist with Louisiana State University found a few dozen sugarcane stalks on a New Orleans’s farm that had been completely hollowed out by Formosan termites. Initially, it was assumed that native subterranean termites, like in the past, had inflicted the damage. However, laboratory tests quickly proved that Formosan termites were responsible for the damage. Entomologists do not yet understand why Formosan termites have not attacked Louisiana’s sugarcane crops with their usual degree of aggression, but it seems like Formosan termites in Louisiana have finally found what they have been missing all of these years.
Do you think that Formosan termite damage to sugarcane crops in Louisiana will increase in the coming years?Tags: Termite Control, Termite Inspection