Apparently native to the West Indies, this species was discovered in southern Florida in 2001, and represents the first introduction of a “Higher” termite in North America, although it is common in the new world tropics and is known to cause structural damage. When discovered in Florida it was infesting several homes and other buildings in a small area.
Nests are typical of the “nasutiform” termites, with mud nests constructed high up in trees and thin mud tubes descending on the outside of the tree to the soil below. In the infestation in Florida aerial nests also were discovered in attics of the homes.
The most distinctive caste of nasutiform termites is the soldiers, with the fontanelle on the head expanded to an enormous bulb that is pointed at the front, and the soldiers squirt a defensive liquid out this tube to entangle enemies attacking the colony. Nests are often large, rounded mud nests well up in trees, with the mud tubes meandering down on the outside of the bark.
Characteristicts Important to Control:
Control of aerial nests may require soil applications around the base of the tree and destruction or direct treatment of the aerial nest. Infested structures can be treated with soil treatments, direct injection of the nest if exposed, and possibly injection of labeled products into tubes used for travel.