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Be Alert, Termites Swarming Season Has Begun – Fiji Sun Online

BAF acting chief executive officer Surend Pratap said during this period the AST flies away from the parent colonies to breed and to start new colonies of their own.

Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF) is advising Fijians residing in and around the two infested districts of Labasa and Lautoka to take precaution as the Asian Subterranean Termites (AST) swarming season has begun.

The swarming season in Fiji is from September to November.

BAF acting chief executive officer Surend Pratap said during this period the AST flies away from the parent colonies to breed and to start new colonies of their own.

He said residents of Lautoka and Labasa must take precaution during this time of the year because there may be visibility of more AST than usual.

In the Northern Division these termites can be found in areas of Labasa including: Vunivau, Balebasoga, Boca, Bulileka, Malau, Soasoa, Vunika and Batinikama.

“It is advisable during the swarming period for all affected Fijians to turn off all the lights in and around their house at dusk or first light in the evening,” Mr Pratap said.

“Termite swarmers are attracted to light during their flight and if lights are kept on; then unfortunately their new home might be your home.”

Biosecurity Authority of Fiji acting chief executive officer Surend Pratap at his office in Suva, on September 10, 2021.

Advise:

Fijians are requested:

  • To close all windows and doors from 6.30pm to 8pm.
  • If you suspect or see any swarming within the area light small fires in a controlled area outside your homes so that the termites can get attracted to it and burn themselves in the fire.
  • Termites get attracted to light; people should use minimal lighting inside dwellings during the swarming periods.
  • People need to be mindful not to receive any host materials (soil, wooden materials, firewood, pot plants, long term stored paper and clothing materials from known AST affected regions in Fiji.

What happens during the swarming season?

Mr Pratap explained that when swarming termites (or alates) venture out of a nest inside a home or ground colonies, they will try to squeeze through cracks and crevices in the walls and foundation to reach open air for the first time.

Since swarming termites are attracted to light, they often can be found during their flights near windows or light fixtures.

Termites swarm only after the colony reaches a certain age, size and weather conditions become conducive or optimal for flight.

The swarm of termites around your home indicates that there are active colonies in the vicinity.

Mr Pratap said BAF was continually creating awareness on the issue of AST and assisting those affected with containment efforts.

Short Codes for AST

Stakeholders can contact BAF on the following short codes regarding AST:

5993 – Labasa – Northern region

5996 – Lautoka – Western region

Email: [email protected]

Edited by Losirene Lacanivalu

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