Vicious Termites on the Loose

Vicious Termites

According to a local pest control professional, a vicious breed of termites that had infested the East Baton Rouge and parts of New Orleans is showing its face in New Iberia. Coptotermes formosanus, more commonly referred to as Formosan subterranean termites, are ferocious insects known to devour trees and structures.

A study conducted by the LSU Agriculture Center saw a dramatic increase in this species of termite. In 2009, light trappings revealed an average of 32 termites per trap in New Orleans. In 2014 that number increased to 595.

“We haven’t seen as much here in New Iberia, but we have seen some,” said Kevin Sellers, manager for a local pest control service. “They aren’t a problem yet, but they’re starting to get around this area.

These termites average length is approximately half inch long and has densely covered in hair.

Although Formosan termites share similarities to other breeds in the area, Sellers explained that the Formosan is a much more aggressive pest than its counterparts.

“They need less moisture and they eat much faster. They can tear up a wall five times faster than your regular breed of termite,” Sellers said.

Joseph Randal Hebert, owner and operator of another local pest control service, believes that the Formosan problem has “greatly increased” over the past twenty years. “It used to be we would get one call in the whole Acadiana area during the swarm season. Now I would say it’s about 50/50 with the native population,” Hebert said

A sign that your house may be infested with Formosan termites is the presence of cartons. Formosan termites create nesting material made up of a combination of excrement, chewed wood and soil. These carton nests can be found in structure voids, between walls and underneath sinks.  These are common Formosan termite nesting areas


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