Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Potential economic costs of invasive structural pests: conehead termites, Nasutitermes corniger, in Florida.

Abstract

Increased trade and human mobility result in sizable benefits to society, but are often accompanied by negative consequences, such as increased introduction of invasive pests to different landscapes and seascapes. In this paper, we couple an existing model of the biological spread of Nasutitermes corniger, an invasive neotropical termite recently introduced to Florida, with information on the costs to treat and repair affected structures, and use this coupled model to simulate the potential short-term costs of establishment of this structural pest. We construct empirical distributions of control and repair costs, using surveys of the pest control industry and homeowners, and use them to simulate treatment and damage costs through a re-sampling procedure. Our results suggest that the net present value of potential costs from an unchecked N. corniger invasion in Florida range between $6.9 and $9.9 million over the next 10 years.