There are very few regions of the US that rarely see termite infestations, and this is why having regular termite inspections conducted on your property is important for nearly all Americans. The stress that goes along with termite infestations has prompted many victims of these infestations to research termites in order to better understand how they can be avoided. When it comes to the types of termites that are most likely to damage a home in America, there are only a few termites to choose from. However, sometimes a rare termite species can infest a home. One of these rare termite species is known as Kalotermes approximatus, and finding information about these termites in online articles is difficult, even for the most studious of citizen researchers. Although this species rarely infests manmade structures, there is growing evidence that shows these termites as having a negative effect on several different tree species along America’s east coast.
During the early spring of 1919, the Kalotermes approximatus termite species was discovered for the first time in Ortega, Florida. To this day, this species has been the only Kalotermes species found in the US. Since its discovery in Florida, this termite species has been found in several other US states along the Gulf and eastern coasts. These states include Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Researchers claim that the Kalotermes approximatus species’ exact distribution within the US is not known, as the species is currently undersampled. These termites have been reported as swarming in late fall, but this too has yet to be confirmed through scientific analysis.
One of the few studies ever conducted on Kalotermes approximatus found that they had infested nineteen trees within a region that contains twenty seven counties within South Carolina. These termites have been found dwelling within sixteen coastal counties in South Carolina, and they rarely migrate inland. Despite the study, researchers were still unable to conclusively determine this termite species’ distribution range within the US due to the wide range of trees that these termites feed upon. Kalotermes approximatus termites are considered “generalist feeders”, which means that they are not particular about the tree species that they infest. Understandably, this wide range of host trees makes pinpointing Kalotermes approximatus habitats a difficult and time consuming task.
Would you worry about termites if you lived in a coastal region?