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(Video) New Orleans Plagues: Formosan subterranean termites

Formosan subterranean termites (Photo by: Scott Bauer, Wiki Media Commons)

We are on to plague number two, and it is one we all know well. You have turned off your lights, you have stopped riding your bike at night, and you are constantly swatting at your arm because…They. Are. Swarming. The termites–more specifically, the Formosan subterranean termites–are here. Hide your children and give your lazy cat the evil eye for not killing these little golden-bodied bugs.

Early May is the time for these swarming termites, but they are not alone in their swarming endeavors. New Orleans has “Native subterranean termites,” (lucky us), but these swarm in the daytime between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM, and that is usually in February and March. We aren’t out of the termite woods yet, folks. Yes, these little mucus sacs are trying to get in your windows now, but come May 8 through the 15, you will start to see a major upswing in the Formosan subterranean termites, which prefer humid conditions that are very still. They will swarm between 7:00 PM and 10:00 PM because…well, they’re annoying.

Zack Lemann, curator of Animal Collections, Audubon Butterfly Garden, and Insectarium has all the information you would ever really want to know about these little winged creatures. So here you go New Orleans. Let ’em swarm!



For more videos on the insects and animals of New Orleans, subscribe to the Audubon Zoo Channel.


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