TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Researchers with the University of Florida said an invasive tropical termite species has been spreading across the state, and made it to Tampa.
Researchers are concerned about the amount of Asian subterranean termites that Hillsborough County pest control has found since March.
Experts said you’ll want to keep inspecting your trees. It’s where Asian Subterrean termites are typically first detected and their colonies begin forming.
These invasive and pesky insects are extremely destructive.
“The only way that you really know you have termites, when you see start seeing signs of mud tubes, or swarmers the ones with the wings then you know you’re in big trouble,” said Lance McDonald, Quality Assurance Termite Manager at Truly Nolen.
McDonald said Truly Nolen treats the home with a barrier. He said exterminators trench all around the home and in the soil then drill through the foundation.
Researchers at University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciencessuspect the initial infestation may have happened up to 10 years ago. Experts said now Asian subterranean termite activity is increasing in the Tampa area and has finally been detected.
“If you have a swarm of Asian subterraneans, you’re not going to be able to stay in your room, where they’re swarming, they swarm in the thousands of and thousands,” said McDonald.
McDonald said they do this to re-colonize. Researchers said regular tree inspections for termites can help residents with early detection.
“Conducting intensive tree inspection efforts in the known infested areas would slow down the spread of this invasive termite species in this area, save many trees and prevent costly damages to structures,” said Thomas Chouvenc, assistant professor of urban entomology at UF/IFAS Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center.