KHOU 11 News’ Verify team looked into a claim made on social media where people are asking, "Are there more termites in the Houston area because of Hurricane Harvey?"
Two sources helped answer the question: Bryan Springer with Coastal Exterminating, and Texas A&M University Professor of Entomology Edward Vargo.
Springer says Formosan termites are an invasive, aggressive species that have actually been getting worse for years.
“Each year, more colonies have survived from the swarming of the previous years. The existing colonies are swarming as well, so each year you’re going to see more and more of this species,” he said.
Vargo said it takes years for colonies to develop, so it’s simply too soon to see any impact from Hurricane Harvey.
“Flooding events like Hurricane Harvey, if they have an impact on the population, it would be a negative impact, because presumably, some colonies did not survive the flooding,” Vargo said. “Maybe the flooding effected the colonies in a way that they produce bigger swarms.”
Therefore, experts agree that the idea that Harvey led to more termites in our area is false.
For more information about Formosan termites, tap/click here.
Bryan Springer, Coastal Exterminating
Edward Vargo, Texas A&M University Professor of Entomology