April 13, 2011
By Linda Florea, Orlando Sentinel
9:08 pm EDT, April 12, 2011
For three years, Tarre Beach had lived in her 6-year-old Ocoee home with confidence in the termite baits the original owner had placed around the house.
Only she didn't realize the "traps" needed to be checked at least once a year — until she returned home some weeks ago and found insects in the living room.
"I moved the couch and there were a ton of bugs — I didn't know they were termites," she recalled recently. "I sprayed along the window sill and outside — they were dying, and I cleaned them up, but more came out. They filled up about a 6-foot windowsill completely."
Ideal conditions have triggered an unusual number of early-season termite "swarms" this year in Central Florida after several years of relative peace. Even during an average year, Florida's climate is an ideal incubator for termites, which is why it's one of the top U.S. states for infestations.
Roberto Pereira, an associate research scientist at the University of Florida's Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences, said this year's quick post-winter warm-up and heavy March rains are to blame for the surge in swarms. Among those hit: the institute's building in Gainesville.
Read the entire story over at the Orlando Sentinel