Bug Blog

Termites Render A Palace Uninhabitable

Termites Render A Palace Uninhabitable

Living in Hawaii is not all sunshine and beaches, as the islands are home to one of the most destructive insect pests in the world. Formosan termites are just another part of daily life for the natives of Hawaii, but sometimes termite-induced tragedy can sneak up on long-time residents. A Hawaiian man, Aldon Yamamoto, recently finished building his own home in Honolulu. Unfortunately, Yamamoto’s new house quickly became a haven for Formosan termites. The termites caused thirty five hundred dollars in damages that included an infested door frame and several beams holding up his ceiling. What happened to Yamamoto is not uncommon in Hawaii. When it comes to Formosan termite activity, most people think of New Orleans. This is understandable as New Orleans has seen significant termite-related property damages during the past two decades. Although New Orleans deserves attention for their struggles with Formosan termites, the wood-eating insects have been eating away at Honolulu for more than one hundred years. Nowhere on earth are Formosan termites more damaging to private and public property than they are on the Hawaiian Islands.

Not only are Formosan termites more numerous in Hawaii than they are in Louisiana, but the island state’s culture is more saturated with termites and everything termite related. However, the large Formosan termite population in Hawaii has been causing disasters that may also occur in New Orleans unless Formosan termites become more effectively controlled in the state. Termites may be considered an aspect of Hawaiian culture due to the historical landmarks that termites have destroyed in the state.

Back in 1845, Iolani Palace in Hawaii became ravaged by termites, and it had to be torn down only thirty years after construction had completed. When a second palace was completed in 1879, termites struck again. Eventually underground steel barriers were installed around the palace and a the palace’s foundation was reinforced in order to repel termites. Today a cutting-edge baiting system keeps termites out of the palace, which is now a museum.

Why do you think that Formosan termites arrived so much earlier on the Hawaii islands than they did in the continental United States?

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest