Researchers Believe That Formosan Subterranean Termites Exist In Every Major Metropolitan Area Of Texas
While the state of Louisiana is notorious for its high Formosan subterranean termite population, a 1956 sighting of these termites around a Houston ship channel in Pasadena, Texas marked the first time these invasive termites were found within the continental US. Although nobody disagrees that Formosan termites were first spotted in Texas, there seems to be disagreement among experts concerning the true decade in which these termites were introduced into the continental US. According to the Texas Invasive Species Institute, a 1965 sighting of Formosan termites within a Houston shipyard marked the first time these insects were found within the continental US. In any case, it was not long before the termites invaded Louisiana, as colonies were found within the state in 1966. Amazingly, these early Formosan termites managed to spread all the way to Charleston, South Carolina, a mere one year later in 1967.
Today, the invasive and destructive termites have established invasive habitats within the states of: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, California and possibly other nearby states. With the exceptions of Texas, Louisiana and Florida, the presence of Formosan termites in the other states listed is largely limited to one or a few counties or cities. For example, in Georgia, it is believed that the termites have established a presence only within the city of Atlanta. In Texas, Formosan termites have invaded thirty counties, most of which are located in the southeast portion of the state. But there is plenty of evidence to suggest that Formosan termites have now spread to every major metropolitan area within the state.
As their name makes clear, Formosan subterranean termites are native to what used to be known as “Formosa,” but this island is now known as Taiwan. Most experts also consider the termites to be natives of mainland China, where they cause massive amounts of destruction today. It is likely that Formosan termites were transported to the Houston Ship Channel by infesting timber shipped from Asia.
Do you think that Formosan termites arrived in the state of Hawaii long before they reached the continental US?