CANYON LAKE, Calif .– Jason and Lowell Boone, Better Off Dead Services (BODS), Riverside, Calif., Discovered an underground termite infestation in Formosan in a house on Canyon Lake, Riverside County, Calif. In June 2020.
The Boones encountered the termites in an unoccupied home (rental property) in an upscale apartment building on Canyon Lake Reservoir, which is in the hilly area between Menifee and Lake Elsinore. The Alates swarmed indoors, and the infestation caused significant damage to the exterior walls, interior wall panels, and the floor of the bathroom on the second floor.
Although Formosan termites are a localized pest that is primarily found in the south, they were found in California – including a confirmed sighting in La Mesa, San Diego County in 1992 and again in 2018 – so pest control professionals are active in the Golden State are the lookout for them.
“I noticed distinctive hairs on the wings. The color of the wings and body was just a little different – and I noticed that the number of hawkers was much larger than it normally is here in California, ”said Jason Boone.
Boone alerted Professor of Entomology at the University of California on the River, Dr. Chow-Yang Lee, who collected samples from the infested site and later definitively identified them as subterranean formosan termites (Coptotermes formosanus) using morphological and molecular techniques.
The original treatment strategy for BODS was a traditional full house, dig, and treatment with Termidor HE, just as would have been the case with underground termites. “While we were doing this treatment, I was literally doing research on Formosan termites and reading about satellite air colonies and how big they could be. If you are lucky enough to find these you can do a void treatment, but this one [termites] been there for six, seven, maybe ten years, ”said Jason Boone. “That’s when I made up my mind [via a subcontractor] In addition, do a house fumigation. “
Boone said the results were excellent as they found no termites six months after the treatment.
UCR’s Lee said the university did some population genetic work on the samples from Canyon Lake and La Mesa to see if the species are related. They submitted these results to the Journal of Economic Entomology and will share the results of this research at a later date.