A species super termites is taking their appetite to South Florida’s live trees, making them vulnerable to high winds.
The change is alarming to experts who say they are signs that normally wind-resistant trees such as oaks are being compromised and put at greater risk of being toppled during tropical storms and hurricanes.
“I would say in the last seven or eight years we’ve begun to see termites that attack trees with more frequency than maybe we have seen prior to that time,” said Michael Orfanedes, commercial horticulture agent with at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences in Broward County.
The new super termites, are finding new sources of food in some of South Florida’s largest and oldest living trees from Palm Beach County to the Keys. March is the beginning of termite swarming season, when hundreds of thousands of termites establish new colonies. Older trees are particularly vulnerable to the new breed of invasive termite in South Florida.
Experts recommend inspecting trees annually to detect these troublesome termites early.
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