As Termites Swarm In New Orleans, Experts Claim That The City May Have The Worst Formosan Subterranean Termite Problem In The World

Subterranean termites are well known for being the most destructive group of insect pests in the world, and Louisiana is home to four subterranean termite pest species, each one of which inflicts considerable property damage in the state. The eastern subterranean termite is the most damaging species of its kind in the US due to its widespread habitat distribution, and while this species is a serious problem in Louisiana, it’s not nearly as problematic as the invasive subterranean termite species in the state. Unlike the eastern subterranean termite, the Formosan subterranean termite can only be found in the southernmost states, but most of the structural damage inflicted by this species occurs along the Gulf Coast, most notably in New Orleans.

Formosan subterranean termites (FST) swarm every year around Mother’s Day in order to establish new colonies, but this year FST swarms emerged a bit earlier than usual in Louisiana. May 5th saw the first FST swarms to occur in a major urban area this year. Slidell saw the first swarm, followed by Lakeview, then Metairie, and finally, New Orleans. The winged termites (alates) gravitated toward street lights, porch lights, and even indoor lights, prompting a large number of residents in all four cities to contact local pest control professionals and university extension officials with questions and concerns about the destructive pests.

Many experts in the state are already predicting a termite-heavy season in Louisiana this year based on the size of the FST swarms that occurred throughout the southern half of the state a few days ago. In fact, pest control professionals are saying that no city in the world is more heavily affected by FSTs than New Orleans, which sees around one billion dollars in FST damage annually. Luckily, residents do not need to be seriously concerned with the swarms unless they occur within their homes, but it is possible for alates to establish new colonies in excessively moist structural lumber. However, most FST infestations start when workers infest homes from the ground up. Considering the alarming nature of this year’s FST swarming season, residents of Louisiana may want to contact a pest control professional to have a termite inspection carried out on their property.

Have FST swarms been spotted near your home yet this year?

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