Asian and Formosan termites are the two termite species which are mating.
According to Nan-Yao Su, the University of Florida entomology professor who led the study said, Asian and Formosan together are responsible for $40 billion annual termite damage worldwide and their hybrid offspring could increase the loss.
These hybrid colonies are growing at a faster rate than their parents.
Su said, “Because a termite colony can live up to 20 years with millions of individuals, the damaging potential of a hybrid colony remains a serious threat to homeowners even if the hybrid colony does not produce fertile winged termites.”
Su said that Asian and Formosan termites used to live in separate territories and they swarm at different times and these changes are attributed to climate change.
Both the territory and swarming season had grown and overlapped in 2013.
Asian male termites preferred Formosan females and within one year their colonies contain about 160 members where as in single species colonies they number 60.
Su said that these hybrid offspring’s may be sterile or fertile and this not known but it will known within five years of colonies age, when the new kings and queen begin to reproduce.
Su further added that there are pesticides which can kill the termites but there are baits which can erase the colonies over time.