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Thrasher Termite & Pest Control Uncovers New Outbreak of Formosan Subterranean Termites in La Mesa (Calif.)


First Confirmed Infestation in 20 years in San Diego County

Mike Edelen a WDO inspector at Thrasher
Termite & Pest Control of So Cal, Inc.
in San Diego, California,
recently discovered a new colony of Formosan subterranean termites in La
Mesa, half a mile from the original 1992 outbreak of this destructive,
invasive species. Formosan subterranean termites rapidly develop huge
colonies and can cause significant structural damage within 6 months.
This invasive species of termites was last seen in La Mesa in 1998 and
pose a serious threat to the La Mesa area. Conclusive identification of
Formosan subterranean termites was made by Thrasher Termite & Pest
Control in cooperation with the San Diego County Department of
Agriculture and the California Department of Agriculture Plant Pest
Diagnostics Division in Sacramento, California.

"It was clearly evident that these termites did not behave like native
subterranean termites," said Garrett Thrasher, owner and general manager
of Thrasher Termite & Pest Control. The homeowner first noticed a
potential problem when a cloud of winged insects swarmed their yard at
twilight. Those winged insects turned out to be sexually mature Formosan
subterranean termites seeking mates.

"By the time we were called to the property, most of the termite
reproductives were caught in spider webs, dead, or had disappeared. But
we found a live, robust colony in the structure of the home," said
Thrasher. "Unlike native subterranean termites, the termites we observed
were extremely active, didn't flee when disturbed, and the soldiers went
into attack mode. They had hollowed out large areas of structural wood,
always staying just beneath the exterior paint and unnoticed by the
homeowner. All of these behaviors, in addition to size and coloration of
the reproductives, led us to suspect Formosan termites. Unhappily, we
were correct."

Formosan subterranean termites were last seen in La Mesa 20 years ago.
This new finding is very serious. While this Formosan termite population
may be completely unrelated to the previous infestation, the location
suggests that Formosan termites have been hiding in plain sight for the
last 20 years and have become very well established in La Mesa--and that
much more challenging to eradicate.

For more information on Formosan subterranean termites, please visit

About Garrett Thrasher

Garrett Thrasher is a second generation pest control professional.
Author of The Bed Bug Battle Plan (ISBN: 1500838209), Garrett's
solid understanding of bed bugs and other pests endemic to San Diego
County plus experience on camera has made him a leading contact for news
and media outlets. He has spoken at PestWorld and PestTech, and was
featured in PCT Magazine and the PCT Podcast.

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