‘The worst of the worst’: Florida has the highest number of termite species in the country

ORLANDO, Fla. — They are little pests that can cause big damage — we are talking about termites.


Florida has the highest number of termite species in the country, but we also have a pest management university to fight back.

Florida loses $1 billion every year due to damage caused by termites.

In Apopka, University of Florida’s Pest Management University trains inspectors to identify infestations.

“We have some of the worst of the worst in the state of Florida,” said Faith Oi, a professor of entomology at the University of Florida.

With 23 species — seven of them invasive — Florida is the termite capital of America.

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Warm weather promotes large colonies.

The university is using a “home” as a classroom. It’s the only one of its kind in the state, teaching 300 students each year to identify and treat infestations.

To keep termites out of your house, keep a 6-inch inspection space along the slab of your home.

Also, keep any gravel or mulch from piling up in the area. Minimize wood contact with the ground and don’t allow irrigation to spray the side of your home.

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A drywood termite produces six-sided fecal pellets called “frass.”

You should check old furniture for “frass” before bringing it into your house.

Termites have a natural tendency to remain hidden from larger animals.

Often, the only evidence that termites are there is the damage they produce. There could be up to a million of them living in your walls and under your house.

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It is recommended to schedule termite inspections once a year from professionals with a “Wood Destroying Organism Inspector” endorsement on their ID card.

All termite species can be controllable but if you need treatment, get three different quotes.

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