The Formosan termite project is working to determine the extent and severity of the Formosan Termite infestation in Mississippi and to research various baiting and treatment methods.
MAFES researchers are working in cooperation with USDA ARS Operation Full Stop, the national research project on the FST based in New Orleans LA. (http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/br/fullstop/). This team is conducting Area Wide management strategy studies using newly developed bait matrix and chemicals.
The FST is believed to have first entered the US on crated military supplies and ships returning from the Pacific Theater after World War II. It is an introduced nonnative species of termite originally from East Asia that infests over a dozen southern states and cost an estimated $1 billion a year in property damages, repairs, and control methods.
The FST has now been found in over 10 states in the continental United States. It has now become a very serious pest in Mississippi. Recent research and surveys with pest control operators have found FST infestations in the counties of Adams, Covington, Jones, Pike, Forest, Marion and Pearl River south to the gulf coast counties of Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson on the Gulf Coast. Isolated infestations had previously been reported in Hinds, Rankin and Madison County in the central part of the state and Lauderdale County in the southeastern part of the state.
With their ability to produce very large colonies and because of the very mild winter temperatures in south Mississippi the FST is becoming a major problem for homeowners and pest control operators in Mississippi. Homeowners can find more information about termites in Mississippi State University Extension Service Publication 2568. Additional information on termites can be found by searching MSUcares.com for termites.
For further information, contact: Dr. Patricia Knight, Department Head