What’s Your Termite Threat in Florida?  – Boca Raton’s Most Dependable Information Supply

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What is Your Termite Risk in Florida?  – Boca Raton’s Most Reliable News Source

UF/IFAS scientists explain – it depends on where you live

Boca Raton, FL – You’re most likely to notice termites during their swarming activity, but colonies infesting trees and structures are active year-round in Florida. This puts properties at risk of costly damage and trees are vulnerable to strong winds. So if you notice early signs of a termite infestation, you may need to contact a pest control or termite control company to inspect your property and take the necessary action.

Scientists at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) want residents, property owners, and pest controllers to know the areas at risk and how to manage that risk through proactive, science-based approaches.

Termite Species Distribution in Florida and UF Termite Identification Services is a recent publication written by a team of UF/IFAS scientists who conduct year-round research on termites at the UF/IFAS Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center (FLREC). .

“Termite infestation is a year-round risk for property owners in the Sunshine State,” said Thomas Chouvenc, assistant professor of urban entomology at FLREC and co-author. “With 20 termite species established in Florida, knowing when, where and what termite species have been recorded in abundance in a geographic area can help limit your risk and provide an advantage against potential property damage from infestations.”

In the publication, the authors provide tools and resources for property owners, residents, and pest controllers. Tools and resources include links to an online interactive distribution map, sample submission steps for proper termite species identification and current status, descriptions and links to native and established termite species reported in Florida.

Scientists have learned the keys to knowing the potential termite risk in an area: climate, identification of an established species, ownership conditions, and species range within a geographic location.

It’s important to know where you are in the ranges of each termite species tracked on the interactive map. Scientists have determined distribution areas by conducting sampling over the past four decades. These samples included more than 6,500 termite specimens from across Florida. They received samples either through biological surveys, pest control providers, private individuals or UF/IFAS extension offices.

All samples were identified by species by a member of the UF Termite ID Team or the UF Insect ID Lab and placed in the University of Florida (UFTC) Termite Collection at the Fort Lauderdale Research Center.

Since 2016, the collection location of all termite samples has been publicly available and is updated regularly. Additional images of termites and termite damage in Florida are being collected and reported by Rudolf Scheffrahn, professor of entomology at the center.

“This map is the most detailed and accurate termite distribution map in the world. However, with the spread of invasive species, it is important that consumers and pest management companies continue to provide us with samples so that we can monitor new areas for invasive pest species to establish,” said Chouvenc. “This is important because the entire local community, once established in a new area, is now at risk from such new invasive termites, and knowing about this can help owners to prepare appropriately.”

ABOUT UF/IFAS
The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain people’s quality of life and to improve. With more than a dozen research institutions, 67 County Extension Offices, and award-winning students and faculty from the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS brings science-based solutions to the agricultural and natural resource industries of the state and all Florida residents.

ifas.ufl.edu | @UF_IFAS