Tree termites hit South Florida

Queens can lay 10,000 eggs per day

By Ben Kennedy - Reporter

DANIA BEACH, Fla. - The tree termite has hit South Florida. It's a destructive bug that can cause a lot of damage in a short period of time.

"They can grow from the size of a tennis ball to the size of a watermelon in about a year," said Entomology Professor Barbara Thorne.

The tree termite set up shop at the Fishing Hall of Fame in Dania Beach. One nest contains 180,000bugs. To put that into perspective, that's about the same number of people who live in Ft. Lauderdale.

"I don't think we really understood the gravity of how unique of a problem that we had here. That was a bit of a surprise," said International Gaming Fishing Association President Rob Kramer.

The tiny bugs traveled to Broward County from the Caribbean and their queen can lay 10,000 eggs in just one day.

"The other trick, it can have more than one queen. There can be 10, 20, 30 queens all producing eggs, so that's why it has a fast growth rate -- kind of scary," Thorne said.

Scary may be an understand as crews work to get rid of this pesky critter.

"Hopefully we can make lemonade out of lemons here, learn a little something and help eradicate this problem from all of South Florida," said Kramer.

The game plan is to remove the nests then spray chemicals to make sure the termites don't return.



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