FORT LAUDERDALE — Termite season in Florida is around the corner, and experts at UF/IFAS are ready to help.
On March 1, Thomas Chouvenc, a termite expert and assistant professor at the UF/IFAS Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, will offer a free webinar to educate South Florida property owners about termites, treatments and tenting. He is part of a team at the center that conduct a variety of research on termites.
Attendees will learn about different types of termites found in Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach counties and what they can do to minimize damage and infestation of their property. Registration is required.
Florida has the highest number of termite species in the continental United States, with 21 established species. Some of these making colonies in homes and trees. Termites cause $5 billion a year in damage to structures and trees across America, so it’s important to be aware of them and know how to find and fight them.
“Homeowners commonly misidentify a flying ant as a termite or vice versa, or they misidentify the type of termite species they have in their home,” said Chouvenc. “Knowing what termite species you have before you seek treatment is critical because each termite species is controlled differently. We will dive into this area during the webinar.”
While termites are often noticed during their swarming activity as early as March, colonies are never dormant and are actively feeding, especially in South Florida.
Monitoring for termite activity and damage is a critical first step to early detection and preventing damage to trees and houses, Chouvenc said. UF/IFAS Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center manages and monitors an interactive map where Florida residents can see the distribution of all termite species to help them narrow down the type of termites in their area.
“If termites are found, seek expertise to first determine what type of termite exists in the property, because each termite species must be dealt with differently” said Chouvenc.
Residents and property owners are invited to send termite samples for identification to the termite team and to determine if structures could be damaged by the pests.
The webinar, part of the 2022 Master Gardener Volunteer Lecture Series, is a monthly program designed to connect residents with the scientists who focus on horticultural and environmental topics as they relate to South Florida. It is a collaboration between UF/IFAS Extension Broward County and UF/IFAS FLREC. For information on the 2022 Master Gardener Volunteer Lecture Series, contact Anthony Gross at Anthony.firstname.lastname@example.org.
To register, go to https://ufl.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_zmebIWcOQcuTmYXC3HJpcQ