Why Are Formosan Termite Populations Growing?
The summer of 2018 is proving to be a termite heavy season. Formosan subterranean termites are particularly numerous this year, as swarms of these termites have been spotted all over Texas and the Gulf Coast states. Researchers, pest control professionals and even members of the public have been puzzled over the clear boost in Formosan termite populations this year. Some people believe that these termites are more numerous this year due to flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey months earlier. Other people insist that the growth in Formosan termite populations is the result of a heatwave. Some experts believe that the termites are increasing due to their taste for pecan and oak trees, which are abundant in some regions of Texas where Formosan termites have been a problem. Whatever the case may be, it is clear that Formosan termite populations have grown, as more and more people are complaining to pest control professionals about these problematic termites.
According to one pest control professional operating in Avoyelles, Texas, during the past fourteen years pest control professionals have not received many calls about the termites, but this year he has already received seven calls about Formosan termite swarms, and the number is increasing by the day.
In case you have not noticed, social media networks have been saturated with questions from the public concerning Formosan termites and why they are so prevalent this year. Many of these questions ask if Hurricane Harvey is responsible for the increase. One expert claims that Formosan termite populations have been growing for years, despite the hurricanes. This is due to the fact that each year more Formosan termites survive swarming, which means that more can reproduce. According to Texas A&M University Professor of Entomology Edward Vargo, flooding from hurricanes would actually have a negative impact on termite populations, unless there is an unknown method of survival that allows Formosan termites to withstand the devastation of mass flooding. In any case, it is unfortunate that all the experts agree that Formosan termites are not going anywhere.
Have you personally noticed an increase in termite swarms this year? Have you noticed the social media queries concerning Formosan termites?