University of Hawaii Termite Project

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Home Homeowner's Guide Introduction

Introduction Introduction

Ground termites The Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, locally known as simply the ground termite, is the single most damaging insect pest to homes and other structures in Hawaii. In 1990, annual figures for prevention, control, and repair were conservatively estimated at $60 million. By 1996, that figure had grown to over $100 million per year.

Poorly planned or constructed homes built on large existing colonies can be serverely damaged in as little as two years. Colony sizes for this termite range from 2 to 10 million individuals. Damage by this insect is especially insidious since much of it occurs quietly, unnoticed. Often, by the time evidence of an infestation is discovered, costly damage has already taken place.

Honolulu Stadium, May 1976
Honolulu Stadium, May 1976
Honolulu Stadium, October 1976
Honolulu Stadium, October 1976

A somewhat famous example of a termite problem gone out of control is the old Honolulu Stadium, known affectionately as the "Termite Palace." The stadium was found to be severely termite-damaged when it was torn down in 1976 to make way for the larger, all-steel Aloha Stadium. A park now marks the site where the old wooden stadium once stood.