Termite Survey

Ohio Termite Survey Update 

Dear OPMA members,

Thank you so much for supporting and participating in the Ohio termite survey during 2001 and 2002. It has been a pleasure to work with the many OPMA members who have cooperated in this effort. The survey has been a great success.

Figure 1 depicts locations where termite samples have been obtained in Ohio. Table 1 lists those members of the pest management industry that have contributed samples (I apologize for any errors in interpreting information from the labels). To date, we have compiled a total of almost 700 termite collections from 57 of Ohio’s 88 counties! We also received a few samples from neighboring states. There still are some collecting gaps, particularly in northwestern Ohio (see Figure 1), and we hope to receive termite samples from these areas during 2003.

We still are in the process of identifying the various termite species, which is a time-consuming process. Of the samples examined thus far, the most prevalent species throughout Ohio is the eastern subterranean termite (Reticulitermes flavipes). The dark southeastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes virginicus, has been found in southwestern and southern Ohio. An isolated structural infestation of the western drywood termite (Incisitermes minor) was found near Cincinnati during 2001. In Columbus, another species of Incisitermes was collected from a decorative wooden pillar that had been brought from Mexico. Recently, dried up Coptotermes workers and soldiers were found in cardboard boxes shipped from Indonesia to Cleveland. We need to be on the lookout for exotic termite species, given the role that human commerce plays in their dispersal.

Others in the industry are being made aware of our Ohio termite survey and OPMA’s role in this endeavor. The 2001 Ohio termite survey was the topic of a poster display that I presented with Andy Nuss at the Fourth International Conference on Urban Pests (ICUP) held in Charleston, SC, July 7-10, 2002. A note describing the survey also was published in the Proceedings. Please let me know if you would like to receive a copy of this paper. Also, I presented an invited talk ("Ohio termite survey: Pest management industry involvement") at the Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America, which was held in Ft Lauderdale, FL, November 17-20, 2002. 

We plan to continue termite collection efforts during 2003. As springtime approaches, please be on the lookout for additional swarmers that you can collect and send to OSU. Even if we already have some samples from a particular city or county, the additional specimens will be very useful. It is particularly helpful if you can also send in termite workers and soldiers from a site where swarmers have been obtained. It is fine to collect termites from baited or unbaited stations—just list this information on the collection label.

A very successful collecting approach during 2001 and 2002 was for us to coordinate with pest management companies to intensively sample in selected counties. Please let me know if any additional companies are interested in this type of participation during 2003.

Thank you again,
Dr. Susan C. Jones
Urban Entomologist, The Ohio State University