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The Nasutitermes corniger termite … Savage termites are the latest species to plague Florida (8 May 2012) …item 3.. No big storms, but Florida property insurance costs still rise (12:03 AM, Jan 2, 2013) …

Posted on | April 5, 2014 | No Comments


And a single nest could hold more than a million termites, Rudolf H. Scheffrahn, professor of entomology at the University of Florida, told the Sun Sentinel.

‘They love to eat hardwoods. They ate the handles off garden implements, rakes and hoes — turned them into shredded wheat. If this thing really keeps going, it’s going to be a problem for tropical Florida, from West Palm Beach to the Keys,’ warned Scheffrahn.
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…..item 1)…. Mail Online … Daily Mail … www.dailymail.co.uk/news

Savage termites are the latest species to plague Florida joining pythons, giant rats, crocodiles and poisonous caterpillars

A new species of wood-eating termite, native to the Caribbean, has arrived in Florida

By CHRISTINE SHOW and DAILY MAIL REPORTER
PUBLISHED: 15:03 EST, 8 May 2012 | UPDATED: 17:21 EST, 8 May 2012

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2141478/Savage-termites-…

Dangerous wood-eating termites that can destroy trees and damage homes are the latest infestation to turn up in Florida.

The Nasutitermes corniger termite are native to the Caribbean but have now joined the 20 or so other species of termites which live in the Sunshine State.

The pesky insects are the latest unusual species found in Southern Florida along with African rats, Burmese pythons, and poisonous caterpillars.
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img code photo … The Nasutitermes corniger termite

i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/05/08/article-2141478-12FE5F…

Not welcome: The Nasutitermes corniger termite, which is native to the Caribbean, have been found in southern Florida. They feast on hard wood and build tunnels up the outside of houses

University of Florida

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The arrival of the termite poses a particular problem because they feast on hardwood, foraging on trees, garden furniture and attack the outside wall of homes.

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The termites differ from Florida’s other species because they are found above ground and can fly – making it easier for them to establish new nests.
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FLORIDA’S OTHER UNDESIRABLE ANIMALS

…As well as milllions of termites, Florida boasts a menagerie of animals you’d be best to avoid:
…The so-called Sunshine state has four types of poisonous caterpillars whose sting can cause humans to pass out in pain.
…Beware the saddleback caterpillar, the puss caterpillar, the io caterpillar and the hag caterpillar.
…Southern Florida’s crocodiles, which grow up to 14 feet, have multiplied 10-fold in the last 40 years. There are about 1,500 of the reptiles.
…A growing population of Burmese pythons are threatening to wipe out large numbers of raccoons, opossums and other small mammals in the Everglades area.
…Huge Gambian pouch rats, which grow up to nine pounds, have been found on Florida’s Grassy Key despite efforts to eradicate them.
…Boa constrictors, Nile monitor lizards, and vervet monkeys have also wreaked havoc on local animal species.
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They build tunnels running up the outside of houses and trees where they create beach ball sized nests weighing up to 28 kilograms.

And a single nest could hold more than a million termites, Rudolf H. Scheffrahn, professor of entomology at the University of Florida, told the Sun Sentinel.

‘They love to eat hardwoods. They ate the handles off garden implements, rakes and hoes — turned them into shredded wheat. If this thing really keeps going, it’s going to be a problem for tropical Florida, from West Palm Beach to the Keys,’ warned Scheffrahn.

He worries that the new species could increase the amount of termites in the Dania Beach region by as much as 30 per cent.

But agricultural officials are determined to stamp out the plague of termites before they spread any further.

Currently the species have only been spotted in 42 properties in Dania Beach. However, this translates to an infestation of up to 120 colonies meaning there are already 100 million in the area.

Properties in Dania Beach were treated today in a bid to banish the insects although efforts to eradicate them will be spread over four days.

‘They got into the tool shed and ate our stack of firewood,’ resident Martha Rosen told the Sun Sentinel. ‘We went to pick it up and there was no wood left. They’re very aggressive. My trees look like they’re almost dead,’ she added.

Read more:

South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com: Dangerous termite arrives in South Florida

www.sun-sentinel.com/news/palm-beach/fl-new-termite-20120…
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…..item 2)…. Sun Sentinel … Home > News > Palm Beach … Dangerous termite arrives in South Florida

Eradication spraying begins Tuesday
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img code photo … The Nasutitermes corniger termite

www.trbimg.com/img-4fa8476d/turbine/sfl-latest-non-native…

A termite from the Caribbean that has been found on 42 sites in Dania Beach. The Nasutitermes corniger termite lives above ground and tunnels up the sides of houses. Soldiers are the ones with pointed heads, workers are larger with round heads, and these are the ones that eat wood.

(University of Florida, Courtesy / May 7, 2012)

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By David Fleshler, Sun Sentinel
7:28 p.m. EDT, May 7, 2012

www.sun-sentinel.com/news/palm-beach/fl-new-termite-20120…

A uniquely dangerous termite that tunnels up the sides of houses has turned up in South Florida, leading agriculture officials to organize a campaign to wipe it out before it can spread.

The Nasutitermes corniger termite, which is native to the Caribbean, lives above ground, builds brown tubes up the outside walls of houses and shows a particular taste for hardwood. The insect’s above-ground habitat means it would avoid direct competition with native, subterranean termites and raise the total number of termites that could live in the region by 25 to 30 percent, said Rudolf H. Scheffrahn, professor of entomology at the University of Florida.

"They forage on the open floor, which is something you don’t see unless you live in the tropics," he said. "They love to eat hardwoods. They ate the handles off garden implements, rakes and hoes — turned them into shredded wheat. If this thing really keeps going, it’s going to be a problem for tropical Florida, from West Palm Beach to the Keys."

A dozen field workers from the Florida Department of Agriculture on Tuesday will blitz neighborhoods in Dania Beach, the only city so far in which the termites have been found, treating 42 properties that harbor the insects. The termite’s beach ball-sized nests, made of termite excrement and constructed above ground, will be sprayed, as well as the foraging tubes running up trees and houses.

Video: Manatees in shallow waters of Lauderdale beach

On Southwest 25th Avenue, where the termites have been found in several houses and trees, Martha Rosen said she and her husband first noticed strange dark lines going up the sides of their house. Soon they realized what was causing them.

"They got into the tool shed and ate our stack of firewood," she said. "We went to pick it up and there was no wood left. They’re very aggressive. My trees look like they’re almost dead. "

The species first showed up in Dania Beach in 2001. Aggressive spraying was thought to have eradicated it, but then it turned up last summer. They are thought to have originally arrived on wooden pallets brought from the Caribbean to a nearby marina, said Michael Page, chief of the Bureau of Entomology and Pest Control for the Florida Department of Agriculture.

Mark Fagan, spokesman for the state agriculture department, said the termite was found in the walls of the International Game Fish Association, just west of Interstate 95 and south of Griffin Road. Since then, he said, they have been found on 42 properties in neighborhoods for about a square mile around that site.

Fagan said the eradication work will take about four days.

The termites are ant-like in appearance. Unlike the 20 or so local species of termite, they can be seen crawling along the ground. If you think you have them on your property, call the Florida Department of Agriculture hotline at 888-397-1517.

"We’re trying to prevent another termite from being established," Fagan said. "We’ve got plenty of termites in Florida."

A single nest could harbor 1 million or more termites, Scheffrahn said. With the current infestation of 100 to 120 colonies, there are already more than 100 million of the termites in the area, he said.

He said "time is of the essence," because any day the winged termites could take to the air to establish new nests.

dfleshler@tribune.com, 954-356-4535

Copyright © 2012, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
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…..item 3)…. Florida Today … www.floridatoday.com … No big storms, but Florida property insurance costs still rise

Average doubles from 6 years ago
12:03 AM, Jan 2, 2013 |
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img code photo … Florida businesses and homeowners

cmsimg.floridatoday.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=A9&…

For millions of Florida businesses and homeowners, property insurance rates keep soaring even though a hurricane hasn’t made a direct hit over the state in seven years. / CRAIG RUBADOUX/FLORIDA TODAY 2004 file

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Written by
Brent Kallestad
Associated Press

FILED UNDER
News
Local News

www.floridatoday.com/viewart/20130102/NEWS01/301020020/No…

TALLAHASSEE — Marco Tarafa was stunned to find that his homeowners’ policy is increasing by nearly ,000 a year — all because inspectors couldn’t get into his attic, where there was no crawl space and about 24 inches of insulation.

Tarafa was a customer of state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. for eight years, and his rates had been stable during much of that time — until now. Tarafa pays ,200 for his policy on his 1,800-square-foot, ranch-style home in Miami Gardens. Unless something changes between now and when the policy renews in May, he’s looking at a 0 increase, a hike of nearly 45 percent.

“Just because of that, they can’t get into my roof!” Tarafa said.

He is among thousands of Florida homeowners forced to take coverage offered by Citizens and a target for being moved to another company in Citizens’ attempts to downsize.

For Tarafa and millions of other Florida businesses and homeowners, property insurance rates keep soaring even though a hurricane hasn’t made a direct hit over the state in seven years.

The average Florida homeowner is paying twice as much for insurance than just six years ago, according to industry statistics. In some areas, the increases are much higher.

Data from the New York-based Insurance Information Institute show homeowners’ claims are up by an average of more than 17 percent in the past decade. They are virtually due to non-catastrophe claims involving water. In many instances, they are claims for issues ranging from leaky toilets to burst water heaters. Florida’s rates have also been hurt by soaring claims on losses from sinkholes.

A more industry-friendly Office of Insurance Regulation, pressured by Gov. Rick Scott and a Republican-led Legislature, means consumers pay more.

There is little competition in the Florida property insurance market because many consumers can buy from only one company — usually Citizens. Founded by the Legislature in 2002 for homeowners who could not get private policies, it has become the state’s largest property insurance company with more than 1.3 million customers after shedding some 160,000 policies in recent weeks to private companies.

“Gov. Scott, of course, wants premiums to go up and he wants Citizens to be depopulated at any cost to the policyholder,” said state Rep. Mike Fasano, whose west Florida district encompasses the highest concentration of Citizens policy owners in the state. “Citizens is only there because, unfortunately, so many couldn’t find insurance anywhere else.”

Citizens says it would need a 16.4 percent premium increase on all products in 2013 to be actuarially sound.
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