Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 8:05 AM

Impact of Hurricane Katrina on the distribution of subterranean termites in City Park, New Orleans, Louisiana

Mary Cornelius, mcorneli@srrc.ars.usda.gov, USDA-ARS, Southern Regional Research Center, 1100 Robert E. Lee Blvd, New Orleans, LA

City Park was inundated with brackish water from Lake Pontchartrain when the 17th street canal floodwall was breached after Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005. City Park remained flooded for approximately 3 weeks until water was pumped out. In October 2005, 125 City Park traps were checked for termite activity. At that time, approximately 65% of traps that had been active with Formosan subterranean termites pre-Katrina in August 2005 were still active. There was no activity in traps previously occupied by Reticulitermes spp. and two of these traps were occupied with Formosan subterranean termites post-Katrina. Although some traps were missing after the flood, Formosan subterranean termites were occupying a few traps that had been unoccupied before the hurricane. Overall, there was only an 18% reduction in the number of traps occupied by Formosan subterranean termites in October of 2005 compared with August of 2005.

Species 1: Isoptera Rhinotermitidae Coptotermes formosanus (Formosan subterranean termite)
Species 2: Isoptera Rhinotermitidae Reticulitermes

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