First of all, the termite history . . .
- Termites are over 100 million years. Termites are an adaptive animal to exists after 100 million years.
- They eat the plant’s fiber, found in dead and decaying wood. This makes them “recyclers of the forest.” Termites recycle dead wood; turning the wood’s nutrients into the soil.
- There are three main groups of termites in Florida; the dry wood, damp wood, and subterranean termites. The last type can be the most costly to repair their damage.
- Additionally, some termite colonies live 7-10 years. (This number is conservative and based on the average age of a queen termite.)
- Colonies can contain millions of termites. Check out this photo posted on Brewbooks.com
- Annually, two specific (subterranean) species cause over $20 billion dollars in damage around the world; the damage for the United States alone is estimated to be $11 billion.
- Many people confuse ants and termites when they are in swarm flight.
Additionally, there are 21 species of termites in Florida, six are invasive, and most of the species are not consider pest insects. Some of the species are native and only found in Florida; nowhere else in the world, not even in the United States.
Lastly, watch for the next blog on the differences between termites and ants. If you are unsure whether you have an indoor or outdoor termite infestation, visit our Plant Diagnostic Clinic. Above all, please bring in fresh insects for identification. If the specimen is a termite and you would like to determine the species type, an extension agent can help you preserve the specimen for shipment to the University of Florida lab for positive species identification.
Intrigued… for more information: http://flrec.ifas.ufl.edu/termites-in-florida/termite-types/.
For more gardening information, visit our webpage. https://tinyurl.com/yb8oo9g5
Bring your gardening problems to us. We have a Plant Diagnostic Clinic located 1303 17th Street, West in Palmetto. You can also call us at (941)722-4524. You can email a gardening problem or photo to ManateeMG@gmail.com. Call for our hours of operation.