Tree termites, Nasutitermes corniger, have been found in Dania Beach. (University of Florida, Courtesy / May 7, 2012)
FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) A tiny terror which could destroy your home or business has been found in one Broward city and now the state has launched an offensive to get rid of them before they spread.
On Tuesday, the Florida Department of Agriculture launched a program to eradicate tree termites which have invested four areas of Dania Beach. More than 40 properties have reported tree termite infestations in these areas.
Agriculture department workers will spend the next four days in the infested areas spraying any tree termite nests or tunnels they come across.
The beauty of putting it in the tubes that if you miss a nest theyll take it in that tube back to the nest, said Andy Rackley with the states agriculture department.
Were trying to prevent it from becoming the 21st endemic termite in the state of Florida, said agriculture spokesman Mark Fagan.
Tree termites, or Nasutitermes corniger, are unique in that live above ground in nests which can grow to the size of beach balls. They build brown tubes as tunnels up the sides of structures. Tree termites attack homes and buildings, as well as lumber and wood products and are capable of causing widespread damage. That especially attracted to hard woods.
So far they have not spread outside of Dania Beach and the state wants to keep it that way.
The difficult part of it is when they swarm theyll move to a new location but they wont develop in that location for maybe several, until we actually see evidence of them, said Rackley.
The tree termite, a native to the Caribbean, was first found in Dania Beach in 2001. After an aggressive eradication campaign they state thought they had seen the last of them in 2003. Last summer they turned up again.