NEW ORLEANS – More than 200 fallen trees were reported to the 911 call center in New Orleans by Hurricane Zeta, and many of those trees fell because they were infested with termites and couldn’t withstand the strong winds.
“New Orleans has possibly the worst formosan termite problem in the world,” said Terminix entomologist Joe Martin.
You can see that fallen trees were infested with Formosan termites because they are sacred and full of termite cardboard nests.
“Formosan termites are the silent enemy,” said Martin.
The silent enemy sent a loud message to Zeta.
“This storm really exposed us to the question of trees because of the strong winds. We haven’t had such a strong wind for a long time,” said Martin.
Formosan termites consume wood until the tree can no longer stand. That’s why Martin accuses her of cutting down so many trees.
“The termites are hollowing out our trees and we are hit by so much wind, the trees are not that strong because they are hollowed out,” explained Martin.
Martin estimates that 50 percent of New Orleans trees are infested with formosan termites. So he recommends inspecting your trees especially before a storm.
Here are 3 tips from Terminix:
- Are there termites at the base of the tree? Dig just below the soil line. If there are termites in your tree, they are likely to be along the base.
- Look for mud tubes between pieces of bark.
- Look out for signs of swarmers or flying termites. Mud protruding from the tree can be a passage for the pests.
“It’s a bad time to find out you had termites in the tree when the tree fell to the ground,” said Martin.
Most trees can be handled by professionals such as Terminix.
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