'Super Termite' Found in Fla.

Fast-eating bug known to cause panic among homeowners
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2008 3:51 PM CDT
Formosan termites swarm around a light in New Orleans Tuesday, May 8, 2007.    (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – One of the world's most feared termites has been caught gnawing on a Florida Gulfport home. Exterminators say they have saved the house, but admit that the "super termites"—or Formosan subterraneans—included winged swarmers, which indicates that that colony has existed for more than 5 years. "Sometimes there is hysteria with Formosan subterannean termites," expert John Mangold said.

The "supers" have a nasty rep: They reproduce at a quick rate, eat through wood faster than most termites, and cannot be eradicated. They also spread at a rate of several hundred yards per year. "But at this point in time, it's going to be some period of time before they become numerous in Pinellas County," Mangold told the St. Petersburg Times.