PMPs, researchers and state and federal regulators are coming together in southern Florida to squash a threatening invasive termite that could have ramifications in other parts of the country. The problematic termite is Nasutitermes corniger, originally referred to as the tree termite, but now being called the conehead termite (see related PCT article).
A joint partnership between the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and independent pest management firms called the Florida Invasive Termite Initiative (FITI) is underway. The goal is to educate the public, catalog infestations, and treat and remove identified colonies. FPMA Executive Vice President said the initiative has been seeking state matching federal funding, and at NPMA Legislative Day, attendees from Florida encouraged their congressional delegation to seek and obtain federal funding to supplement state funds that would allow for FDACS to train and contract with Florida pest management professionals to inspect and treat properties for and destroy the conehead termite.
Update: Fugler said Florida Invasive Termite Initiative continues working with its congressional delegation to obtain state and federal funding, but the group has moved ahead with program development.
Watch a video interview with Fugler about the conehead termite.