Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
First Coast

Formosan Termites Threaten Houses Near Cummer Museum In Riverside


Riverside residents near the Cummer Museum's termite-infested Women’s Club Building might want to have their homes inspected for the wood devouring pests.

The nearly 100-year old structure is riddled with Formosan Subterranean Termites to such a degree that it will have to be torn down.

Jacksonville University Biology Professor John Enz said Formosan termites are an invasive species that came to the U.S. from China following World War II.

He says their sheer numbers make them a serious threat to homeowners near the museum.

“Regular Eastern-North American termites, they typically have colonies of maybe a few hundred thousand," he said.  "But Formosan termites have a colony of several million.”

Plus, Enz says a single hungry colony can stretch the length of a football field underground.

“So if you’re in a densely packed neighborhood, there’s going to be a lot of houses built on top of a termite mound,” he said.

Because termites are drawn to moist wood, Enz urges homeowners in the area to fix leaky pipes and make sure water drains away from their foundations.